UNDP Ranks Nepal 146th on HDI

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UNDP Ranks Nepal 146th on HDI

Nepal has made moderate progress in the Human Development Index ranking. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has ranked Nepal 146th on the Human Development Index (HDI). The international agency said that Nepal’s HDI value was 0.601, placing the country in the medium human development category and ranking it 146th out of 193 countries and territories. Nepal’s ranking was 149 in 2021. Countries with HDI values between 0.550 and 0.699 fall under the Medium Human Development category. Between 1990 and 2022, Nepal’s HDI value changed from 0.395 to 0.601, representing a change of 52.2 percent.

“As compared to 2021, Nepal’s progress on HDI value is 0.010 which is higher than the global average of 0.004,” according to the Human Development Report 2023/24. During the same period, the South-Asian nation’s life expectancy at birth increased by 15.7 years, expected years of schooling by 5.4 years, and mean years of schooling by 2.1 years. Nepal’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita changed by about 165.7 percent between 1990 and 2022. The 2022 female HDI value for Nepal is 0.562, contrasting with 0.635 for males, resulting in a GDI value of 0.885. “The HDI is projected to reach record highs in 2023 after steep declines during 2020 and 2021,” the agency said.

“Nepal performed progressively in the last five decades, yet fell into gridlock at times, particularly following the pandemic– be it related to decent jobs for youths, spatial and social inequalities, economic growth, as well as trust in institutions. It is fundamental to collaborate not only between three levels of government but also with the private sector, civil society, international community, and people at large. The Federal Government could focus more on transparency, accountability, and integrity; Provincial and Local governments can enhance planning and service delivery; Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) could further promote people’s participation and voice to revive hope and trust, and using multilateralism, a proven path that benefits everyone in the society,” said Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labe, UNDP Nepal Resident Representative, UNDP Nepal.

The UNDP in its report, has raised concerns about global inequality and gridlock on global challenges due to “rising political polarization and distrust.” According to the report, "Rich countries are experiencing record-high levels of human development, while half of the world’s poorest countries remain below their pre-crisis level of progress." Uneven development progress is leaving the poorest behind, exacerbating inequality, and fueling political polarization on a global scale.

The report states, that in 2023, all 38 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) achieved higher Human Development Index (HDI) scores compared to their levels in 2019. Among the 35 least developed countries (LDCs) that experienced a decline in their HDI in 2020 and/or 2021, more than half (18 countries) have not yet recovered to their human development levels of 2019. 

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