The state provides health and social benefits, including pensions, to all citizens, but inflation and economic
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.|
hardship over the 1990s have dramatically reduced most such payments. Market reforms of the 1990s created both increased poverty and new wealth. Many new entrepreneurs, corrupt politicians and other officials, and politically protected smugglers exploiting channels through Greece and Bulgaria, amassed spectacular fortunes, particularly benefiting from breaches of trade sanctions against Yugoslavia. No specific data on the distribution of consumption and income is currently available. Income levels render Macedonia a poor country with education, health, life expectancy, and consumerism low by European standards. Nevertheless, the country enjoys greater economic equality than neighboring Greece.