India ranks 130 out of 189 countries in the latest human development rankings released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). As seen in Chart 1, Norway continues to lead the latest rankings followed by Switzerland and Australia.
India’s score on the Human Development Index (HDI) has consistently improved over the past decades. As seen in Chart 2, its score has increased from 0.43 in 1990 to 0.49 in 2000 and further to 0.64 in 2017. While the country has made considerable strides over the past decades, it still fares poorly on some parameters. For instance, the mean years of schooling for females in India were estimated at 4.8 years in 2017. This, as seen in Chart 3, is considerably lower than in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and even Saudi Arabia.
On the under five mortality rate, the country has made considerable progress. As seen in Chart 4, India’s under five mortality rate stood at 43 per 1000 live births in 2016. Another recent estimate by UNICEF pegs India’s under five mortality rate at 39 in 2017. The UNDP study also estimates stunting in India at 37.9 per cent (Chart 5).
India has one of the lowest prison population rates in the world. The study estimates India’s prison population rate at 33 per 100,000. By comparison, as seen in Chart 6, in Australia and
United States it stands at 151 and 698 respectively. But India has a relatively high homicide rate.
On unemployment among the youth (those in the age group of 15-24 years), India fares considerably better. As shown in Chart 7, youth unemployment is estimated at 10.5 per cent in India. By comparison, in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, it stands at 15.6 per cent and 34.7 per cent, respectively.
StatsGuru is a weekly feature. Every Monday, Business Standard guides you through the numbers you need to know to make sense of the headlines; Source: RBI, Bloomberg, NSDL; Compiled by BS Research Bureau