Pakistan ranked 125 among 169 countries on UN’s 2010 Human Development Index (HDI) that measures achievements in health, education and income indicators, as an alternative to purely macroeconomic assessments of national progress.
The HDI forms part of the Human Development Report 2010, a flagship study produced annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It was released at UN Headquarters in New York on the report, entitled: “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development” marks its 20th anniversary.
The first UNDP Human Development Report was prepared and launched in 1990 under the leadership of late Dr. Mahbubul Haq, a former Pakistan finance minister.
This year rankings on HDI cover the period 2005-2010 using consistent data and technology. The report said the ranking should not be compared to previous Human Development Reports due to the use of different indicators and calculations.
India ranked 119 while Sri Lanka 99; Bangladesh 129, Maldives: 107, and Nepal: 138. Bhutan apparently did not provide any data this year.
Oil-rich Norway as the country with the best quality of life is ranked number 1 on the HDI. Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Ireland followed at the top of the standings.
Zimbabwe came in last among the 169 nations ranked, behind Mozambique, Burundi, Niger and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In this 20th edition, the report reviews trends over the past four decades and concludes that people today are generally healthier, wealthier and better educated than they were in 1970.
These advances are not directly linked with national economic growth, showing that impressive long-term gains can and have been made even without consistent economic performance, according to the report.
The report also highlights serious inequalities, both within and between countries. Over the past 40 years, countries at the lower end of the Human Development Index experienced an improvement of less than 20 per cent, compared to the top-performing group, which averaged gains of 54 per cent.