Human development ‘medium’ in Nepal

HDI Report

Kathmandu, September 15

Nepal slipped five spots from 144 to 149 among 189 countries in the Human Development Index ranking in 2017, according to the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme.

However, the country’s HDI (Human Development Index) value for 2017 moved to 0.574, up from the previous year’s 0.558, which puts Nepal in the ‘medium human development’ category alongside India ranked at 130, Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (136) and Pakistan (150).

Among South Asian countries, Sri Lanka ranks 76 and Maldives 101. They are placed in the category of ‘high human development’, while Afghanistan has been placed in the ‘low human development’ group. Nepal ranks sixth among SAARC countries, ahead of Pakistan and Afghanistan (168). Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in human development among South Asian nations, as per the report.

As per the Human Development Report, Nepal’s HDI value increased from 0.378 to 0.574, or 51.9 per cent between 1990 and 2017. 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 in the same period. Similarly, the country’s Gross National Income per capita increased by about 111.6 per cent in the same period.

The review shows Nepal’s progress in terms of every indicator. However, the country’s ranking slipped as other countries did better over the review period.

According to the report, a Nepali’s life expectancy is 70.6 years compared to 54.3 in 1990. In Nepal, life expectancy is quite high compared to the average among medium HDI ranking countries (69.1 years). However, GNI per capita is lower than medium HDI countries. Average GNI per capita of medium HDI countries is $6,849 while Nepal’s GNI per capita is $2,471.

In terms of inequality in human development, Nepal’s inequality in education is higher than the medium inequality adjusted HDI value, as per the report. Inequality adjusted value in education of medium HDI countries is 33.1, but in Nepal such inequality’s adjusted value in education is 40.9. In terms of human inequality coefficient, inequality in life expectancy and inequality in income, Nepal is less inequitable than the average of countries that have medium HDI value.

In terms of Gender Development Index, Nepal’s position is better than countries with medium HDI value and the South Asian average. Nepal’s gender development index is 0.925, compared to 0.837 in South Asia and an average of 0.878 among countries that have medium HDI value.