About seven out of ten Madagascans live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Social insurance systems exist only for the small proportion of the population who are employed. For the vast majority of Madagascans, the genus is the most important social safety net.
Social conditions were drastically worsened by international financial sanctions against the country between the 2009 and 2014 coups. The poorest urban poor were affected, although it is in rural areas that most of the poor are present. The second half of the 2010s became more politically stable, which made many Madagascans get a little better again.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Madagascar, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
For the formal employees there are rules on minimum wage, pension, work injury compensation and parental leave. However, compensation levels are low. Those in the informal sector are completely excluded from these social systems, as are all farmers in the countryside who grow for their own use.
Health care is basically free of charge, but in order to receive care and medicine, the Malagasy must wait a long time, sometimes several months. During the crisis years, the state spent only a percentage of the budget on health care, but that proportion has subsequently increased. There are private hospitals and clinics, and those who can afford can buy better health care even at the state hospitals.
Malaria, cholera and tuberculosis are serious health problems and bullying has occasionally erupted in the cities. Many Madagascans suffer from chronic malnutrition. However, according to statistics from the UN agency Unaids, Madagascar has fared better from HIV and AIDS than many other African countries. About half the population has access to clean drinking water and a tenth to functioning sewage.
The crime rate is high. This applies not least to livestock theft by armed leagues.
Women have a traditionally freer position in Madagascar than in many African mainland countries. About half of the women work outside the home, and more women have managerial positions in public administration and business than in neighboring countries. At the same time, women are discriminated against and have less chances of getting a job in the public sector than men. Women have a legal right to inherit and to be able to own land, but this right is not always respected. Although trafficking is prohibited, trafficking in women and children occurs for prostitution.
Abortion is illegal and can be punished with imprisonment. Abortion is not permitted even in the case of rape. However, it is unusual for women to be convicted of having an abortion. In 2017, Parliament voted down a proposal to decriminalize the operation.
A law against child labor (with a 15-year limit) was introduced in 2007 but is not complied with in practice. Instead, during the crisis years between 2009 and 2014, the number of child laborers increased. Many of them are forced to contribute to the family’s livelihood, not least through heavy and dangerous work. Most of these children thus lose their schooling, in whole or in part. Many are forced to work in fishing, within the heavy and health-threatening stone industry or as domestic servants. Most children in public schools in the larger cities are reported to work before or after school.
Homosexuality is not illegal but discrimination against sexual minorities is common and not punished.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 38 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 0.3 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 50.6 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 10.5 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 5.2 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: $ 24 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 19 percent (2018)