Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

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

Health

be 84.0% less likely to be obese


In United States, 36.2% of adults are obese. In Rwanda, that number is 5.8% of people.

live 15.7 years less


In United States, the average life expectancy is 80 years (78 years for men, 82 years for women). In Rwanda, that number is 64 years (62 years for men, 66 years for women).

Economy

be 38.6% less likely to be unemployed


In United States, 4.4% of adults are unemployed. In Rwanda, that number is 2.7%.

spend 24.2% less on taxes


United States has a top tax rate of 39.6%. In Rwanda, the top tax rate is 30.0%.

make 96.5% less money


United States has a GDP per capita of $59,500, while in Rwanda, the GDP per capita is $2,100.

be 2.6 times more likely to live below the poverty line


In United States, 15.1% live below the poverty line. In Rwanda, however, that number is 39.1%.

Life

have 2.5 times more children


In United States, there are approximately 12.5 babies per 1,000 people. In Rwanda, there are 30.7 babies per 1,000 people.

be 20.7 times more likely to die during childbirth


In United States, approximately 14.0 women per 1,000 births die during labor. In Rwanda, 290.0 women do.

be 5.1 times more likely to die during infancy


In United States, approximately 5.8 children die before they reach the age of one. In Rwanda, on the other hand, 29.7 children do.

Basic Needs

be 79.0% less likely to have access to electricity


In United States, 100% of the population has electricity access. In Rwanda, 21% of the population do.

be 23.3% 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 Rwanda, that number is 76% of people on average (87% in urban areas, and 72% in rural areas).

Expenditures

spend 30.0% less on education


United States spends 5.0% of its total GDP on education. Rwanda spends 3.5% of total GDP on education.

spend 56.1% less on healthcare


United States spends 17.1% of its total GDP on healthcare. In Rwanda, that number is 7.5% of GDP.

Learn more about Rwanda

Rwanda is a sovereign country in Africa, with a total land area of approximately 24,668 sq km. In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and former Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF did in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there, and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009. In January 2013, Rwanda assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.

How big is Rwanda 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, Internal Revenue Service, Rwanda Revenue Authority.