Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in Afghanistan instead of United States, you would:

Health

be 84.8% less likely to be obese


In United States, 36.2% of adults are obese. In Afghanistan, that number is 5.5% of people.

live 28.3 years less


In United States, the average life expectancy is 80 years (78 years for men, 82 years for women). In Afghanistan, that number is 52 years (50 years for men, 53 years for women).

Economy

spend 49.5% less on taxes


United States has a top tax rate of 39.6%. In Afghanistan, the top tax rate is 20.0%.

make 96.6% less money


United States has a GDP per capita of $59,500, while in Afghanistan, the GDP per capita is $2,000.

be 5.4 times more likely to be unemployed


In United States, 4.4% of adults are unemployed. In Afghanistan, that number is 23.9%.

be 3.6 times more likely to live below the poverty line


In United States, 15.1% live below the poverty line. In Afghanistan, however, that number is 54.5%.

Life

have 3.0 times more children


In United States, there are approximately 12.5 babies per 1,000 people. In Afghanistan, there are 37.9 babies per 1,000 people.

be 28.3 times more likely to die during childbirth


In United States, approximately 14.0 women per 1,000 births die during labor. In Afghanistan, 396.0 women do.

be 19.1 times more likely to die during infancy


In United States, approximately 5.8 children die before they reach the age of one. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, 110.6 children do.

Basic Needs

be 57.0% less likely to have access to electricity


In United States, 100% of the population has electricity access. In Afghanistan, 43% of the population do.

be 86.1% less likely to have internet access


In United States, approximately 76.2% of the population has internet access. In Afghanistan, about 10.6% do.

be 44.3% less likely to have access to improved drinking water


In United States, approximately 99% of people have improved drinking water access (99% in urban areas, and 98% in rural areas). In Afghanistan, that number is 55% of people on average (78% in urban areas, and 47% in rural areas).

Expenditures

spend 36.0% less on education


United States spends 5.0% of its total GDP on education. Afghanistan spends 3.2% of total GDP on education.

spend 52.0% less on healthcare


United States spends 17.1% of its total GDP on healthcare. In Afghanistan, that number is 8.2% of GDP.

Learn more about Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a sovereign country in South Asia, with a total land area of approximately 652,230 sq km. Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was re-elected in August 2009 for a second term. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.

How big is Afghanistan compared to United States? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, Afghanistan Revenue Department, Internal Revenue Service.