Because of the country's poverty, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and sparse communications networks, transportation is limited in East Timor. In general, the roads are in bad shape, and there are still only a few phone and Internet options, especially in the countryside. There are six airports in the country, one of which handles both domestic and international flights. East Timor does not have any railroads at all.
According to the World Bank, East Timor has a low-income economy. On the Human Development Index, it is ranked 133, indicating a medium level of human development. 52.9% of people live on less than $1.25 per day and 20 percent of people are unemployed. Half of the population cannot read or write. East Timor has one of the lowest urbanization rates in the world, at 27%.
East Timor experienced a "major food crisis" in 2007 due to a poor harvest. Eleven sub-districts remained in need of international assistance-provided food as of November.
The 2010 census revealed that an average of 36.7% of urban and 18.9% of rural households have access to electricity.