Kathmandu, December 10

Nepal’s ranking in the 2019 human development index improved two spots to 147 compared to last year, according to a report published by the United Nations Development Programme today. The ranking is out of 189 countries.

As per UNDP’s Human Development Report, Nepal acquired 0.579 HDI rating in 2018, thereby placing the country in the medium human development category.

The 2019 HDR explores inequalities in human development by going beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today and tries to set policies to redress these inequalities within a framework that links the formation of capabilities with the broader context in which markets and governments function.

South Asia HDI
HDI rankCountry2017   (HDI value)2018
71Sri Lanka0.7760.78
104Maldives0.7160.719
129India0.6430.647
134Bhutan0.6150.617
135Bangladesh0.6090.614
147Nepal0.5740.579
152Pakistan0.5580.56
170Afghanistan0.4930.496

As per the report, between 1990 and 2018, Nepal’s HDI value increased from 0.380 to 0.579, an increase of 52.6 per cent, basically driven by increased life expectancy of people and years of schooling. Between 1990 and 2018, Nepal’s life expectancy at birth increased by 16.1 years to 70.5 years, while mean years of schooling increased by 2.8 years to 4.9 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.7 years to 12.2 years.

Nepal’s gross national income per capita increased by about 130.5 per cent between 1990 and 2018, as per the report.

However, Nepal’s 2018 HDI value of 0.579 is below the average of 0.634 for countries in the medium human development group and below the average of 0.642 for countries in South Asia.

In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan are below Nepal in 2018 HDI value, as well as HDI ranking (see table).

Though Nepal’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.579, the HDI falls to 0.430, a loss of 25.8 per cent, when the value is discounted for inequality, due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. Sri Lanka shows losses due to inequality of 12.1 per cent. The average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries is 25.9 per cent and for South Asia it is 25.9 per cent.

The human inequality coefficient for Nepal is equal to 24.9 per cent.

Similarly, the 2018 female HDI value for Nepal is 0.549 against 0.612 for males, resulting in a gender development index value of 0.897.

“The Asia-Pacific region has witnessed the steepest rise globally in human development. It leads the world in access to broadband internet and is gaining on more developed regions in life expectancy, education and access to health care. Yet, it continues to grapple with widespread multi-dimensional poverty, and may be vulnerable to a new set of inequalities emerging around higher education and climate resilience,” reads the UNDP report.