Philippines 97th in UNDP's Human Development Index

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/6 Nov) — The Philippines improved its ranking to 97th from 105th last year in terms of Human Development Indicator (HDI) released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Nov. 4.

The HDI, which started in 1980, measures human development in terms of health, education and income. From 1980 to this year, the country’s HDI rose at an average of 0.7 percent, from 0.523 to 0.623 today. At this level, the rate of human development in the country is lower compared to the regional average in East Asia and the Pacific region, which is at 0.391 to 0.650 today.

The HDI trends tell an important story both at the national and regional level and highlight the very large gaps in well-being and life chances that continue to divide our interconnected world.

The HDI for this year reveal that the life expectancy in the country is 72.339 years old; mean years of schooling at 8.662 or roughly second year high school; GNI per capita income of U$4,002.084; the intensity of deprivation, a measure of poverty, at 53.5; and gender inequality of 0.623.

The 2010 HDI report ranked oil-rich Norway as the best country in the world and Zimbabwe in the African continent as the worst. Following Norway are Australia and New Zealand. At the bottom heap with Zimbabwe are Niger and Democratic Republic of Congo.

In this year’s HDI Report, the United Nations “warned that a continued failure to tackle climate change was putting at risk decades of progress in improving the lives of the world’s poorest people.”

“For human development to become truly sustainable, the close link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions needs to be severed,” the UN said in its annual human development report (HDR).

Jeni Klugman, director of the Human Development Report office, warned of the dangers of climate change.

“There are risks and threats. Climate change is the big one and it could derail progress. That’s why the 2011 report will look at the issue of sustainability,” Klugman said.

At the present ranking of the country, it is classified under Medium Human Development, those ranked 86 to 127. Those ranked from 1 to 42 are classified as Very High Human Development, 43 to 85 as High Human Development and those ranked 128 to 169 as Low Human Development.

The Philippines ranked 90 in 2008 and 105 in 2007. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin / MindaNews)