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UNDP 2019 human development index: India ranked 129th & Norway topped the list

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On December 8, 2019 the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) released its report titled “Human Development Report 2019– Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century”. The report was based on the human development of a changing world. As per the report India ranked 129th out of 189 countries in the list which is up by 1 rank of 130 from 2017. The list was topped by Norway. The report in detail are as follows:human development index UNDP reportReport on India:

i.27.1 crore people in India were lifted out of poverty from 2005-06 to 2015-16. The improvement was due to reduction in poverty along with improvement in life expectancy, education and access to healthcare.

  • According to HDI (Human Development Index), no other region experienced such rapid development progress. However, Despite India’s significant progress, it accounts for 28% of the total 1.3 billion multidimensional poor.

ii.Index Score: India scored 0.647 in 2018, as against 0.643 in 2017. The score is calculated in the range of 0 to 1.

  • India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), in 2018 as against 2017, which placed it above the average for countries in the medium human development group (0.634) and above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).

iii.Life expectancy: In India, between 1990 and 2018, life expectancy at birth increased by 11.6 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.7 years. Per capita incomes rose by over 250%.

iv.Rank improvement factor: Some of the factors that lead to India’s improvement in the rankings were due to govt. initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (financial inclusion scheme), Ayushman Bharat ( universal health care scheme) etc.

v.Inequality & gender bias: UNDP, however, warned of inequalities that persist in India. The report found that despite progress, inequalities persist in the country affecting women and girls. Indians showed biases in gender social norms, indicating a backlash to women’s empowerment.

  • India is only marginally better than the South Asian average on the gender development index (0.829 versus 0.828). It ranked low at 122 out of 162 countries on the 2018 gender inequality index.

General report:

i.Rank indicators: the countries were ranked based on indicators such as life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling, mean years of schooling, GNI (Gross national income) per capita and HDI(Human Development Index) value

ii.South Asia- fastest growing region: South Asia was the fastest growing region witnessing 46% growth during 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%. No region, other than South Asia, has experienced such rapid human development progress.

  • South Asia saw the highest leap in the life expectancy and years of schooling.
  • In the region, Indonesia and the Philippines both joined the ranks of countries with high human development.

iii.Poverty: Of the 1.3 billion multidimensional poor, 661 million are in Asia and the Pacific.this is nearly half of multi-dimensional poor living in 101 countries around the world.

  • Poverty in South Asia: South Asia alone shares more than 41% of the total number of multi-dimensional poor.

iv.The country that ranked last (189) in the list was West African country Niger.


Rank Country 
189Niger (last rank)