HDI Overview

HDI Overview

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According to the Human Development Report 2020: The next frontier -- Human development and the Anthropocene (released in December 2020), which has been produced by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (please click here, here, here, here, here and here to access):

Human Development

• The 2020 Human Development Report presents the 2019 HDI (values and ranks) for 189 countries and UN-recognized territories, along with the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) for 152 countries, the Gender Development Index (GDI) for 167 countries, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) for 162 countries, and the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 107 countries.

• In 2019, India's Human Development Index (HDI) ranking was 131st (HDI value 0.645) among 189 countries and UN recognized territories, while China's ranking was 85th (HDI value 0.761), Sri Lanka's 72nd (HDI value 0.782), Bhutan's 129th (HDI value 0.654), Bangladesh's 133rd (HDI value 0.632) and Pakistan's 154th (HDI value 0.557).

• India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645-- which put the country in the medium human development category—positioning it at 131 out of 189 countries and territories.

• India's HDI rank for 2018 was 130 out of 189 countries and UN recognized territories, which fell by one place to 131 out of 189 countries and UN recognized territories for 2019 HDI. In case of India, HDI value for 2019 was 0.645 and for 2018 it was 0.642, according to the Briefing note for India on the Human Development Report 2020.

• According to the Human Development Report 2019: Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century (released in December 2019), India's Human Development Index (HDI) ranking was 129th (HDI value 0.647) among 189 countries for 2018.

• Because national and international agencies continually improve their data series, the data — including the HDI values and ranks — presented in the HDR 2020 are not comparable to those published in earlier editions.

Briefing note for India on the Human Development Report 2020 cautions that it is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because of revisions and updates of the underlying data and adjustments to goalposts (viz. minimum and maximum values). Readers are advised to assess progress in HDI values by referring to Table-2 (‘Human Development Index Trends’) in the 2020 Human Development Report. This Table-2 is based on consistent indicators, methodology and time-series data and, thus, shows real changes in values and ranks over time, reflecting the actual progress countries have made. Small changes in values should be interpreted with caution as they may not be statistically significant due to sampling variation. Generally speaking, changes at the level of the third decimal place in any of the composite indices are considered insignificant.

• Between 1990 and 2019, the average annual HDI growth (based on consistent indicators, methodology and time-series data) for India was 1.42 percent, China was 1.47 percent, Bangladesh was 1.64 percent, Pakistan was 1.13 percent and Sri Lanka was 0.75 percent.

• Between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value increased from 0.429 to 0.645 (based on consistent indicators, methodology and time-series data) — an increase by 50.3 percent.

• Based on consistent indicators, methodology and time-series data, India's HDI values were 0.429 in 1990, 0.495 in 2000, 0.579 in 2010, 0.616 in 2014, 0.624 in 2015, 0.640 in 2017, 0.642 in 2018 and 0.645 in 2019.

• In 2019, India’s life expectancy at birth was 69.7 years, expected years of schooling was 12.2 years, mean years of schooling was 6.5 years and Gross National Income (GNI) per capita was 6,681 in 2017 PPP $ terms.

• Between 1990 and 2019, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 11.8 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.5 years. India’s GNI per capita increased by about 273.9 percent between 1990 and 2019.

• India’s 2019 HDI value of 0.645 is above the average of 0.631 for countries in the medium human development group and above the average of 0.641 for countries in South Asia.

• India’s HDI value for 2019 was 0.645. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.475, a loss of 26.4 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. Bangladesh and Pakistan show losses due to inequality of 24.4 percent and 31.1 percent, respectively. The average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries was 26.3 percent and for South Asia it was 25.9 percent. The Coefficient of Human Inequality for India was 25.7 percent.

• The female 2019 HDI value for India was 0.573 in contrast with 0.699 for males.

• In 2019, the value of India's Gender Development Index – ratio of female HDI to male HDI – was 0.820, which is lesser than that of China (GDI value 0.957), Nepal (GDI value 0.933), Bhutan (GDI value 0.921), Sri Lanka (GDI value 0.955) and Bangladesh (GDI value 0.904).

• During 2019, India ranked 123rd (GII value 0.488) among 162 countries in terms of Gender Inequality Index (GII) while China ranked 39th (GII value 0.168) out of 162 countries. In comparison, Bangladesh (GII value 0.537) and Pakistan (GII value 0.538) were ranked 133rd and 135th, respectively on this index.

• Nearly 13.5 percent of seats were held by Indian women in Parliament in 2019 as compared to 24.9 percent in China.

• During 2009-2019, female share of employment in senior and middle management for India was 13.7 percent, Bangladesh was 11.5 percent, Sri Lanka was 22.5 percent, Norway was 32.8 percent, United Kingdom was 34.9 percent and the United States was 40.9 percent.

• Military expenditure (i.e. all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defence ministries and other government agencies engaged in defence projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities) as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for India was 2.4 percent during 2015-2018. The same for China was 1.9 percent, Pakistan was 4.0 percent, Bangladesh was 1.4 percent, Sri Lanka was 1.9 percent, United Kingdom was 1.8 percent and United States was 3.2 percent during 2015-2018.

• In India, 27.7 percent of adult women (25 years and above) reached at least some secondary level of education as compared to 47.0 percent of their male counterparts during the period 2015-19.

• Female labour force participation rate (15 years and above) in India was 20.5 percent whereas male LFPR was 76.1 percent in 2019. Female LFPR in China was 60.5 percent and male LFPR was 75.3 percent. LFPR is defined as the number of persons in the labour force per 100 persons (of the population).

• For every 100,000 live births, 133.0 women died from pregnancy related causes in 2017; and the adolescent birth rate was 13.2 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19 years during 2015-2020.

• Lately, environmental issues have also been given thought upon as an imperative measure. So, Planetary pressures-adjusted HDI was introduced, which provides a sense of the possibilities for achieving high HDI values with lower emissions and resource use. Planetary pressures-adjusted HDI (PHDI) value for India was 0.626 in 2019.

Poverty and Inequality

• Despite India's significant progress on the multidimensional poverty front in the past decade, it accounts for 27.9 percent of the 1.3 billion multidimensional poor.

• The multidimensional poverty headcount is 6.7 percentage points higher than income poverty. This implies that individuals living above the income poverty line may still suffer deprivations in health, education and/or standard of living.

• The most recent survey data that were publicly available for India’s MPI estimation refer to 2015/2016. In India, 27.9 percent of the population (377,492 thousand people in 2018) are multidimensionally poor while an additional 19.3 percent are classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (260,596 thousand people). The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in India, which is the average deprivation score experienced by people in multidimensional poverty, was 43.9 percent. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which is the share of the population that is multidimensionally poor, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.123. Bangladesh and Pakistan have MPIs of 0.104 and 0.198 respectively.

• Between 2005/2006 and 2015/2016 the number of multidimensionally poor people in India fell by aroound 273 million. On average, progress was more intense among the poorest states and the poorest groups.

• Gini coefficient (official measure of income inequality, which varies between zero and 100, with zero reflecting complete equality and 100 indicating absolute inequality) of India was 37.8 while that of China was 38.5, Bangladesh was 32.4, Pakistan was 33.5, Sri Lanka was 39.8 and Bhutan was 37.4 during 2010-2018.

• The labour shares of GDP in India, comprising wages and social protection transfers, were 60.7 percent in 2004, 58.0 percent in 2005, 56.8 percent in 2010, 54.8 percent in 2011, 53.2 percent in 2012, 51.8 percent in 2013, 51.6 percent in 2014, 49.2 percent in 2015, 49.2 in 2016 and 49.0 percent in 2017.


[Shivangini Piplani, who is doing her MA in Finance and Investment (1st year) from Berlin School of Business and Innovation, assisted the Inclusive Media for Change team in preparing the summary of the Human Development Report 2020. She did this work as part of her winter internship at the Inclusive Media for Change project in December 2020.]

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