WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) — The World Bank said North Korea ranked the lowest across dimensions of governance, including in the areas of press freedom and rule of law.
The international financial institution combined data from more than 30 organizations to produce its Worldwide Governance Indicators, and to assess conditions in 230 countries, Radio Free Asia reported.
In five out of the six dimensions of governance, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, voice and accountability, control of corruption and rule of law, North Korea ranked in the bottom 10 percent by the World Bank’s measures.
Press freedom in North Korea declined annually, dropping to -2.19 from -2.18 points – indicating North Korea’s authorities have been cracking down on freedom of expression.
A sixth indicator, regulatory quality, is used to assess the efficiency and fairness of government regulations. North Korea scored the lowest possible -2.5 points for this dimension of governance.
The World Bank’s scale runs from -2.5 to 2.5 points, with zero signifying an average or midpoint.
North Korea remains one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries, and millions in the country could be affected by the World Bank’s decision to raise the poverty line to $1.90 per day.
CNBC reported the decision could expand the number of the world’s poor by tens of millions, and the move to revise the measure from $1.25 per day is the most dramatic change since the World Bank introduced its $1 a day measure of global poverty in 1990.
In East Asia the ranks of those slipping below the poverty line nearly doubled from 157 million at $1.25 per day to 293 million at $1.90, but Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, said the decision was necessary due to new data on purchasing power.
“We don’t think we moved the goalposts,” Kim said. “We think we simply updated the goalposts to 2015.”