Bangladesh has moved one notch up to the 135th place among 189 countries in the Global Human Development Index (HDI) 2018, according to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Placed among Medium Development countries in the 2019 Human Development Report published last Monday, Bangladesh’s HDI was 0.614 with 72.3 years of life expectancy at birth, 11.2 years of expected schooling and 4,057 PPP dollars GNI per capita.Last year, Bangladesh was ranked 136.
Bangladesh’s HDI ranking, however, is still fifth among South Asian nations, behind Sri Lanka at 71, the Maldives at 104, India at 129, and Bhutan at 134. Nepal has been placed at 147, Pakistan 152, and Afghanistan at 170.
The steady progress was due to development, which had seen a reduction in poverty, along with gains in life expectancy, education, and access to health care.
Between 1990 and 2018, Bangladesh’s life expectancy at birth increased by 14.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.2 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.6 years. Bangladesh’s GNI per capita increased by about 198.7 percent between the same years.
The HDI measures the average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development -- life expectancy, education and per capita income.
Norway, Switzerland, Ireland held the top three positions in that order. Germany placed fourth along with Hong Kong, and Australia was ranked fifth.At Gender Inequality Index, life expectancy at birth rate of female in Bangladesh was 74.3 while male 70.6.
The report put expected schooling year of female at 11.6 and male at 10.8.
Estimated GNI per capita of women stood at 2,373 PPP dollars and men at 5,701 PPP dollars.
Between 1990 and 2018, Bangladesh’s HDI value increased from 0.388 to 0.614, an increase of 58.3 percent.
Bangladesh’s life expectancy at birth increased by 14.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.2 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.6 years.
Bangladesh’s GNI per capita increased by about 198.7 percent between 1990 and 2018.
Bangladesh’s 2018 HDI of 0.614 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 Bangladesh and 10 other countries — with a wide range of health systems and incomes — governments used an incremental approach to create and expand their universal health coverage programmes, according to the report.
The process typically began by providing health insurance to civil servants and formal sector workers. Next was expanding coverage to poor and vulnerable people, which required a strong political commitment, the report says.
As per the HDI, no other region had experienced such rapid human development progress. The report said South Asia was the fastest growing region in human development progress witnessing a 46% growth between 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%.
When the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI of Bangladesh falls to 0.465, a loss of 24.3 percent due to inequality.
In the last 28 years, the average annual HDI growth rate of Bangladesh is 1.65. But the growth rate has slowed down compared to 1990-2000 when it was 1.95 to 2010-2018 when it stood at 1.40.
The Gender Development Index measures gender inequalities in the achievement of three basic dimensions of human development -- health (measured by female and male life expectancy at birth), education (measured by female and male expected years of schooling for children and mean years for adults aged 25 years and older) and command over economic resources.
The GDI is calculated for 166 countries. The 2018 female HDI value for Bangladesh is 0.575 in contrast with 0.642 for males, resulting in a GDI value of 0.895.
When comes to the Gender Inequality Index (GII), Bangladesh’s value is 0.536, ranking 129 out of 162 countries in the 2018 index.
In the GII, India is at 122, Sri Lanka at 86, Bhutan at 99 and Myanmar at 106.
In Bangladesh, 20.3 percent of the parliamentary seats are held by women, and 45.3 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 49.2 percent of their male counterparts. In comparison, Nepal and Pakistan are ranked at 115 and 136 respectively in the GII.
He said the distribution of health and education indicators is expected to be more inclusive than the distribution of income. “When that is not the case, the concern is that it would lead to a perpetuation of inequality in society. The problem may be deeper when the quality dimension is taken into consideration.”