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HDI 2019 Report

Published: 16th Dec, 2019

Recently, Human Development Report 2019 says that India is home to 28% of world’s poor.


Recently, Human Development Report 2019 says that India is home to 28% of world’s poor.


  • The annual HDI 2019 report, ranked India at the 129th position, one rank above last year’s ranking, out of a total 189 countries.
  • India remains the home to 28 percent of global poor. About 41 per cent of the world’s poor live in South Asia.
  • Between 1990 and 2018, India’s HDI value increased by 50 per cent (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for countries in the medium human development group (0.634) and above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).
  • This means that in the last three decades, life expectancy at birth in India increased by 11.6 years, whereas the average number of schooling years increased by 3.5 years. Per capita incomes increased 250 times.
  • The report finds that despite progress, group-based inequalities persist on the Indian subcontinent, especially affecting women and girls.
  • While Singapore has the region’s lowest incidence of intimate partner violence against women, the report states that a staggering 31 per cent of women in South Asia have experienced intimate partner violence.
  • India is only marginally better than the South Asian average on the Gender Development Index (0.829 vs 0.828), and ranks at a low 122 (of 162) countries on the 2018 Gender Inequality Index.
  • The report states that as the number of people coming out of poverty is increasing, the world is veering towards another type of poverty.  The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the next generation of poverty is based on technology, education and climate, according to the report.
  • The report ranked countries after analysing reduction in absolute poverty, gains in life expectancy, education, and access to health care.
  • India has both types of poverty. Even as Indians continue to face a lack of access to healthcare and education, many others are becoming poor based on the new criteria.

What is HDI?

  • The underlying principle of the HDI, considered path breaking in 1990, (created by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq) is elegantly simple: National development should be measured not only by income per capita, but also by health and education achievements.
  • The HDI is the composite measure of every country’s attainment in three basic dimensions:
    • Standard of living measured by the gross national income (GNI) per capita.
    • Health measured by the life expectancy at birth.
    • Education levels calculated by mean years of education among the adult population and the expected years of schooling for children.
  • This index makes it possible to follow changes in development levels over time and to compare the development levels of different countries.
  • Additional indices have been developed to capture other dimensions of human development to identify groups falling behind in human progress and to monitor the distribution of human development.
  • In 2010 three indices were launched to monitor poverty, inequality and gender empowerment across multiple human development dimensions
    • The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI),
    • The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)
    • The Gender Inequality Index (GII).

Human Development Dashboard

Quality of human development

Quality of health

  • India lost 13.9% in total life expectancy as health expectancy in 2016.
  • There were only 7.6 physicians per 10,000 people in the period 2007-17 falling behind Pakistan who have a better physician to people ratio with 9.8 physicians for every 10,000 people.
  • There are only 7 beds for every 10,000 people in India where a smaller nation like Nepal have 50 beds for every 10,000 people and has a lot to catch up with international standard.

Quality of education

  • There is only one teacher in primary schools for every 35 pupil in India falling in the bottom tercile. International model standard comes up to somewhere 15-18 pupils per children.
  • Only 70% teachers in primary schools are trained to teach in Indian schools.

Quality of standard of living

  • 77.5% of the employed people are engaged as unpaid family workers and own account workers.
  • 77.6% of the rural population had access to electricity in 2016.
  • 87.6% of the total population was using improved drinking water sources in 2015, with only 44.2 % people having access to improved sanitation facilities in 2015.

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