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Ten Lowest HDI Countries in Europe

Name the 10 European countries with the lowest quality of life as measured by the Human Development Index.
2018 UN report, except for one country in bold whose score was calculated elsewhere
Quiz by iheargeo
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First submittedJuly 29, 2013
Last updatedFebruary 16, 2019
Times taken21,638
Rating4.58
1:30
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HDI
Country
0.700
Moldova
0.739
Kosovo
0.751
Ukraine
0.757
North Macedonia
0.768
Bosnia and Herzegovina
HDI
Country
0.785
Albania
0.787
Serbia
0.808
Belarus
0.811
Romania
0.813
Bulgaria
+17
level 76
Mar 10, 2014
Start with the Balkans and work your way northeast until you get to Russia. Easy.
+15
level 83
Mar 23, 2017
Start with the Iron Curtain and... actually just finish with the Iron Curtain as well.
+2
level 73
Mar 23, 2017
If you mean both sides of iron curtain.
+9
level 82
Mar 24, 2017
Just the dismal side.
+14
level ∞
Mar 24, 2017
Perhaps my choice of thumbnails was a little unfair. Eastern Europe trailed the west before the Bolsheviks ever came to power. And in doing research for my Soviet Union quiz, I learned that the USSR actually had the world's 25th best HDI in 1990.
+10
level ∞
Mar 24, 2017
Of course the communists were terrible for all sorts of other reasons, but in the second half of the 20th century, they were actually able to raise the standard of living by a fair amount in the Soviet Union.
+7
level 71
Mar 28, 2017
Eastern Europe trailed the West not because of communism or any other political ideology but because of its geography of being more isolated and not having access to the sea.
+6
level 59
Sep 3, 2017
Even so, you should consider the following. The countries that immediately rejected socialism and embraced liberal democracy and European integration upon independence (Baltic states and Central Europe) have seen their standard of living soar since the 1990s.
+5
level 48
Sep 3, 2017
Slovenia is now part of the big shots in Human Development.
+6
level 68
Sep 9, 2017
@Sulps: Most of the countries on the list immediately rejected socialism after the collapse of the USSR. Even countries where popular support for communism continued, such as Russia, saw mass privatizations and other liberal economic measures in such a rapid and disorganized manner that these probably contributed to the equally rapid deterioration of their living standard. Such mismanagement, along with armed conflicts in some countries and, of course, limited western investment are probably the main contributors to the difference in HDI.
+8
level 45
Jun 12, 2018
Socialism is not the same as communism. Many Western European countries go through periods of being very socialist (just not communist)
+1
level 73
Oct 7, 2018
@CaoMaru It depends on terminology. In post-communist countries socialism is used quite interchangeably with communism in general discussion, especially in former SFRY.
+3
level 57
Jan 15, 2019
Most eastern European countries were extremely underdeveloped/rural before communism. Communism brought about great industrialization and urbanization. Heck, the town I'm writing this from (Rijeka, Croatia) had all sorts of impressive. quality infrastructure (residential 15+story buildings, for example) built between 1960 and 1980, the kind that rarely gets built in capitalism any more because domestic private entrepreneurs with enough money or economic incentive to build such infrastructure simply don't exist and foreign companies usually invest in countries with cheaper labor.
+1
level 61
May 22, 2019
@Djilas That's because most people (not only in ex-communist countries) are ignorant of the meaning of those words. The fact that it's common doesn't mean it's correct.
+2
level 58
Mar 24, 2017
Eastern Europe FTW?
+4
level 61
Sep 3, 2017
What about Montenegro?
+9
level 65
Sep 5, 2017
I guess they made a good choice separating from Serbia in 2006.
+1
level 73
Oct 7, 2018
They separated even earlier - government, currency etc
+4
level 48
Sep 3, 2017
Shows how bad things really are in Putinland...
+3
level 59
Sep 6, 2017
Every-day life is hard when you live in a country on the border of very high and high human development.
+1
level 66
Sep 3, 2017
Finally remembered Belarus with 5 seconds to go!
+1
level 75
Sep 3, 2017
Couldn't get the last one until the last seconds then finally remembered that Russia is European, not Asian. Duh.
+5
level 66
Sep 3, 2017
*gets popcorn for debate over Cyprus and Turkey*
+1
level 69
Jan 12, 2018
Why are Kosovo and Montenegro missing?
+2
level 64
Oct 4, 2018
Kosovo is on the list and Montenegro has 0.814 HDI.
+3
level 63
Dec 30, 2018
I heard permanent residents of Vatican City don't have much fun unless liturgies and scratchy vestments are your thing.
+1
level 48
Dec 30, 2018
I live in one of these countries from the list, so this quiz is a piece of cake.
+1
level 35
Dec 30, 2018
Perhaps add 30 seconds more? I only missed 2 countries, and would've gotten them if I had more time. It's just hard for me to write on my phone. :)
+1
level 45
Feb 26, 2019
I find it interesting how these countries are almost all the European countries that are not in the EU or have some kind of close tie to it (Switzerland, Norway, Monaco, etc). Just shows what a great idea the EU is. Take in poor countries and make them wealthier. :-)
+1
level 76
Mar 11, 2019
Trade and integration are good for the economy.
+1
level 39
Mar 11, 2019
Surprised at Ukraine and top four (except Bulgaria)