• Two countries—the Islamic Republic of Iran and Sri Lanka are in the high human development group,three (Maldives, India and Bhutan) are in the medium and the remaining four (Bangladesh, Pakistan,Nepal and Afghanistan) are in the low human development group.
• The average HDI value for the region is 0.558, below the world average of 0.693.
• Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 1.43 percent in HDI value, which is the highest compared to other regions. Looking at individual countries in the region, Afghanistan achieved the fastest growth with 3.9 percent, followed by Pakistan with 1.7 percent and then India at .5 percent. The least growth was registered by Sri Lanka (0.7 percent).
• The region’s average life expectancy at birth is 66.2 years, nearly four years below the world average of 70.1 and more than eight years below the average for Latin America and the Caribbean, which has the highest average life expectancy at birth.
• Average years of schooling of 4.7 for the region ties with sub-Saharan Africa in the bottom position and is 2.8 years below the world average.
• The average gross national income (GNI) per capita of $3,343 is only one-third the world average of $10,184.
• The region is ranked fifth out of six regions in terms of overall loss to HDI due to inequality in distribution. The loss to potential HDI value is about 6 percentage points higher than the world’s average loss of 23.3 percent. Loss due to inequality is highest in education (42 percent) followed by health (27 percent).
• The biggest loss due to inequalities is suffered by Nepal (34.2 percent) followed by Pakistan (30.9percent). The country suffering the least loss in the region is Sri Lanka (15.1 percent).The average Gender Inequality Index value for the region is 0.568—better only than sub-Saharan Africa’s average of 0.577. It has a relatively high maternal mortality ratio; low female educational attainment; as well as low female labour force participation rate. The poorest performers in the region are Afghanistan and India.
• Bangladesh has the highest Multidimensional Poverty Index value based on 2007 survey data followed by India. The headcount ratio, (i.e. the percentage of the population suffering over-lapping deprivation) is 57.8 percent for Bangladesh and 53.7 percent for India. These translate into 83.2 million people in Bangladesh and 612.3 million people in India who suffer overlapping deprivation.
• India leads in the region exporting goods to the tune of $220.4 billion in 2010, representing 14.5 percent of its GDP in that year. This is followed by Islamic Republic of Iran ($83.8 billion) and then Sri Lanka ($8.3 billion) representing 25.3 percent and 18.1 percent of their respective GDPs.
• The region’s average employment-to-population ratio is 61.2 percent, below the world average of 65.8 percent. There is wide variation across countries ranging from a low employment-to-population ratio of 46.1 percent in Islamic Republic of Iran to 86.4 percent in Nepal.
• Child labour is relatively high in Nepal, where more than one-third of children of ages five to 14 years are economically active. The lowest is observed in India (12 percent).
• The average overall life satisfaction based on the Gallup World Poll for the region is 4.7, making it the second most dissatisfied region after sub-Saharan Africa
for more information: http://hdr.undp.org/hdr4press/press/index.html
Nepal’s human development ranking remained unchanged in the latest the Human Development Report (HDR) 2013.
The report has ranked Nepal 157th, just ahead of Afghanistan (175) among the South Asian countries. Sri Lanka, at the 92nd place, topped the region.
However, there is something to cheer for Nepal. The portion of the Nepali population living under multidimensional poverty has come down to 44.2 percent in 2012 from 64.7 percent in 2010, according to the report prepared by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
Introduced in the HDR in 2010, the multidimensional poverty indicator consists of factors such as poor people’s experience of deprivation, including poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standard, lack of income, disempowerment, and poor work quality.
The report released on Thursday shows there has also been some improvement in the income Gini coefficient, a gauge of wealth gap. Nepal’s income Gini coefficient in the latest report is 32.8. It was 47.3 two years ago.
National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice-chairman Dipendra Bahadur Kshetry said increased wage rate and remittance, which enabled poor people get various facilities, were mainly responsible for the decline in the number of people living under multidimensional poverty. “The government’s efforts to reduce poverty have also contributed,” he said.
According to the report, child labour is relatively high in Nepal, where more than a third of children in the age group 5-14 are economically active.
The report titled ‘The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World’ identifies more than 40 countries in the developing world that have done better than expected in human development terms in recent decades, with their progress accelerating markedly over the past ten years.
“The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” says the Report, which uses the term “the South” to denote developing countries and “the North” to denote developed countries.
By 2030, more than 80 percent of the world’s middle class will live in the South and account for 70 percent of total consumption expenditure. The Asia-Pacific region alone will host about two-thirds of that middle class.