In the United Nations Development Program 's World Development reports, Chad's Human Development Indicator has increased from 0.29 in 1990 to 0.393 in 1999, placing it among the 10 poorest countries in the world. In the benchmarks used to measure poverty (literacy rates, access to health care, access to clean water, etc.) Chad has ranked among the poorest countries in Africa.
Chad's population can be divided into rural and urban classes. In rural areas, farmers and animal herders construct their own housing and produce most of their own food but earn little monetary income. In urban areas,
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Central African Republic||454||417||410||363||341|
|SOURCE : United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.|
small business people practice an array of trades. The civil service constitutes Chad's upper class, though its employees are poorly paid by international standards. A small class of diplomats, international aid workers, high-ranking government officials, and a few private sector managers occupy topmost wage scale.
Urban and rural classes are closely linked by Chad's extended family traditions. Poor rural farmers will often send children to live with comparatively wealthy urban relatives to study in urban schools. And wealthy urbanites often send money in return for foodstuffs as a means of helping out less fortunate rural relatives. Given the lack of social security programs, the poor, the elderly, and the handicapped usually depend on members of their extended family for support.