[Afghanistan] is now much more urban than it was a decade ago, with almost half the population living in cities. And in terms of development, no country in the world has made so much progress so quickly. Life expectancy has risen from 37 in 2000 to around 60 today. Maternal mortality, the highest in the world, has dropped from 1,600 per 100,000 births to 367 per 100,000, and the infant mortality rate is half what it was. Even more significant, per capita GDP increased fivefold and the country has enjoyed 9 to 10 percent growth annually since 2000—admittedly from a very low base.
A fifth of the population, as opposed to 6 percent in 2001, has access to reliable electricity. Sixty percent of the population, including 48 percent of women, own cellular phones. More than 65 percent of the population has access to the Internet. Primary-school enrollment has risen from less than a million in 2001 (only 5,000 were girls) to more than 8 million (more than 3 million are girls). University enrollment has gone from less than 8,000 in 2001 to more than 77,000, with many Afghan students studying abroad. There are 84 television channels and 50 independent radio stations.