Nepal still trails most of South Asian countries

  • Human Development Index
- Post Report, KATHMANDU

Sep 16, 2018-

Although Nepal human development index (HDI) improved gradually since 1990, Nepal is still behind most of the South Asian countries, according to new statistics released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Despite gradual progress, Nepal is just ahead of Pakistan and war-torn Afghanistan in South Asia which puts the country below average score in the region. The average HDI score for South Asia is 0.638.

The 2018 Statistical Update released on Saturday put Nepal in the medium human development category-positioning it at 149 out of 189 countries and territories with the score of 0.574 in 2017. Nepal’s score is still below the average score of 0.645 for the countries which are in the medium human development, according to UNDP.

Between 1990 and 2017, Nepal’s HDI value increased from 0.378 to 0.574, an increase of 51.9 percent. Higher score is considered as better human development condition. The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term

progress in three basic dimensions of human development—a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

During the period, Nepal’s life expectancy at birth increased by 16.3 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.9 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.7 years.

Nepal’s per capita income as per purchasing power parity increased by about 111.6 percent, according to the UNDP update.

Though Nepal’s progress in the areas of life expectancy and child enrolment in schools are relatively higher against average score of South Asia, the country lagged behind in mean years of education among the adult population and the per capita income, according to the UNDP report.

Average score for mean years of education for adult in South Asia stands at 6.4 years while Nepal has 4.9 years. Likewise, average per capita income as per purchasing power parity in South Asia stands at $6,473 while Nepal’s such income stands at $2,471. In fact, Nepal is just ahead of Afghanistan in terms of per capita income, according to the report.

Former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission Jagadish Chandra Pokharel said that despite progress in social indicators, Nepal failed to improve on the per capita income compared to other South Asian countries over the last three decades.

“We need to increase investment and create more jobs to increase the per capita income,” he told the Post. He also said that Nepal’s failure to carry out post-earthquake reconstruction in time also affected the country’s human development.

HDI indicators

Countries    Score    Rank

Nepal    0.574    149

India    0.640    130

Bangladesh    0.608    136

Pakistan    0.562    150

Sri Lanka    0.770    76

Maldives    0.717    101

Bhutan    0.612    134

Afghanistan    0.498    168

Source: 2018 Statistical Update

Published: 16-09-2018 07:26

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