Table 1. Socioeconomic comparison of the three regions (Central Intelligence Agency 2006).

Variable Madagascar
South Africa
United States
Population/labor force (million) 18.0/7.3 44.3/16.6 295.7/147.4
GDP ($ billion)
14.56 491.4 11,705,000
Purchasing power ($, 2004 estimate) 800 11,100 40,100
Population below poverty line (%) 50 50 12
Population growth rate (%) 3.03 –0.3 0.92
Life expectancy at birth (yr) 56.95 43.27 77.71
HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate (%) 1.7 21.5 0.6
Sex ratio (male:female) 0.99:1 0.94:1 0.97:1
Literacy rate (%) 68.9 86.4 97