07 October 2009

Sri Lanka Leads the Human Development Index (HDI) in South Asia

06th October 2009, www.news.lk

Sri Lanka has ranked above all neighbours in South Asia except Maldives on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Index report released Monday (Oct. 5).

Human Development Report 2009 placed Sri Lanka at the 102nd position in the medium human development category for the quality of life of its citizens. In the South Asian region only Maldives fared better than Sri Lanka at the 95th position.

The Human Development Index (HDI) released yesterday for 182 countries and territories as part of the 2009 Human Development Report (HDR) is a summary indicator of people's well-being that combines the life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment, and GDP per capita.

The 2009 report said that between 1980 and 2007 Sri Lanka's HDI rose by 0.58% annually from 0.649 to 0.759 (which refers to 2007 statistics).

The Gender-related Development Index (GDI), a measure of gender equality that captures inequalities in achievements between women and men, for Sri Lanka was 0.756, 99.6% of its HDI. Out of the 155 countries with both HDI and GDI values, only 35 countries have a better ratio than Sri Lanka, the report showed.

Women in Sri Lanka were reportedly empowered as they adopted new social roles as protectors and providers for their families, the HDR-2009 said.

Norway, Australia, and Iceland, in order, ranked at the top of the HDI while Niger, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone, respectively were in the bottom.

Sri Lanka's giant neighbour, India ranked at 134th position while Pakistan was at 141st and Nepal at 144th. Bangladesh ranked at the bottom of the region at 146th place.

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