Human Development Index: Pakistan remains stagnant at 146

Published: July 24, 2014
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Pakistan, which is on 146 out of total 187 countries, scored 0.537 points on HDI, showed improvement of mere 0.002 points from last year’s score of 0.535. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan, which is on 146 out of total 187 countries, scored 0.537 points on HDI, showed improvement of mere 0.002 points from last year’s score of 0.535. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan continued its dismal performance in the field of human development as it failed to improve its position on the Human Development Index (HDI) over the past five years.

According to the 2014 Human Development Report “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” published on Thursday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan remained among the group countries with low human development as it remained on same position as of last year, showing little sign of improvement.

Pakistan, which was ranked at 146 out of a total 187 countries on the index, scored 0.537 points on HDI, showed improvement of mere 0.002 points from last year’s score of 0.535.

The country showed some improvement in life expectancy at birth as it improved by 0.9 in 2013 to 66.6 from 65.7 in 2012.

On the gender inequality index, Pakistan slipped four spots to 127 from last year’s ranking of 123 as it scored 0.563 on the index as opposed to 0.567.

But Pakistan was part of a dismal overall human development situation in South Asia. While Bangladesh and India both showed some signs of improvement, the likes of Afghanistan worse off.
Bangladesh, which was last year at par with Pakistan on 146, has moved to 142 this year. India, which was on 136 last year, has moved one rank up to 135. Nepal is ranked at 145 while Afghanistan at 169.

The report added that 52 per cent of Pakistanis live in poverty. The HDI’s Multidimensional Poverty Index — an alternative to income-based poverty estimates — shows that the proportion of population living under the multidimensional poverty in Pakistan has increased by almost three per cent in one year.

Meanwhile, people living under multidimensional poverty rate in neighbouring Bangladesh and India has reduced to 47.8 and 51.1 per cent from last year’s count of 57.8 and 53.7 respectively.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Jibran
    Jul 24, 2014 - 10:39PM

    Thank you PMLN for pushing us further into the darkness. When you sold yourself to the TTP and LeJ, when you rained bullets on innocent women, when your priorities were to loot and plunder and fill your bank accounts, when your energies are spent day and and day out to seek legitimacy of an illegitimate government, and your family occupies all key official positions, we couldn’t expect a different outcome.

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  • Moiz Omar
    Jul 24, 2014 - 10:43PM

    Terrible.

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  • Moiz Omar
    Jul 24, 2014 - 10:44PM

    The Human Development index (HDI) was created by Pakistani economist Mahbub-ul-Haq and Indian economist Amartya Sen.

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  • N.Sid
    Jul 24, 2014 - 10:48PM

    Lopsided and skewed figures. In many more detailed reports of World Bank and other independent bodies, poverty levels in Pakistan has decreased over the years, depends on what yardstick you measure it. It is no more than 12.4 % as of 2011.

    http://data.worldbank.org/country/pakistan

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  • Economist
    Jul 24, 2014 - 10:52PM
  • Karachiite.A
    Jul 24, 2014 - 10:55PM

    People living under multidimensional poverty in Pakistan is 52 %
    People living under multidimensional poverty in India is 51.1 %.
    If you take into account the population of Pakistan(180 million) and India(1.24 billion) the difference in the absolute number of people. living under poverty is huge.

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  • Stealth
    Jul 24, 2014 - 11:00PM

    Pakistan is going through a war(war on terror), which in reality is war of terror. Huge IDP’s problem. 1 million current operation(FATA) and 1.5 million IDP’s from the earlier operations in Swat and Bajur.
    Add to this the burden of Afghan refugees( about 2 million) the HDI is not going to show any rosy figures. Even if it is stagnant or showing fractional improvement is alright in these tough times. The nation is resilient and will overcome it in coming years, just like we started all over again after the creation of Pakistan.

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  • Hilarious
    Jul 24, 2014 - 11:36PM

    For all those who keep “quoting” India’s figures, please note. With a population six times bigger, India still has a lesser % of the poor. In fact, Pakistan has actually managed to increase it’s % of poor by 3%!! Not that this is any glorification of India with it’s millions still suffering under the burden of poverty. But at least it’s citizens don’t go around constantly belittling the neighbours efforts and constantly refer to their poor. Hope this article gets their minds out of the “toilet bowl”!!!

    On a side note, Bangladesh is certainly doing well now that it has generations who don’t carry the baggage of the Pakistani atrocities pre-1971.

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  • MK
    Jul 24, 2014 - 11:58PM

    @Karachiite.A:
    Also considering the people living above the poverty line on absolute terms in india are huge. With large scale comes large challenges and yet India has fared better. India is no good in itself all indians will agree and be looking to work on it as india is ranked 135th only 11 rank ahead of pakistan , but pakistan will go to sleep peacefully because people like you will make some mathematical comparison to make it sound less bad because india isnt nowhere near perfection.

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  • bell
    Jul 25, 2014 - 12:06AM

    Is that a garbage dump they are sitting next to?

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  • unbelievable
    Jul 25, 2014 - 12:15AM

    On the bright side you have the bomb? I have never have understood how countries like Pakistan/India could waste so many resources on nukes (which will never be used) when they lack the basics. Such a terrible waste – a bi-product of the “chest thumpers” who seem to influence policy in both countries.

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  • 1984
    Jul 25, 2014 - 12:28AM

    @Karachiite.A:
    Looks like you cannot stop comparing with India…Let me look at the same result

    People living under multidimensional poverty in Pakistan is 52 %
    People living under multidimensional poverty in India is 51.1 %.
    If you take into account the population of Pakistan(180 million) and India(1.24 billion) the difference in the absolute number of people. living ABOVE POVERTY is huge.

    Now what bring ur all weather friend China and compare their poverty with India’s so that you can feel happy

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  • IndianDude
    Jul 25, 2014 - 12:41AM

    It is all a conspiracy to defame the greatest inslamic country and self-proclaimed leader of ummah, the pakistan, the one with the worlds greatest stratagic location. This nefarious paln is hatched by CIA/RAW/MI5/ and KHAD. Most of the pakistanis knows this, you can’t fool the most of the pakistani.

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  • mashael
    Jul 25, 2014 - 1:06AM

    @Karachiite.A: So? Since when has India become benchmrk for everything that Pakistanis do? When would we come out of our India focused mindset. There is more in the world and we should focus on greater world than India alone.I am sick of seeing India progressing and pushing for becoming a world power we are still trying to pose ourselves a less bad than India. With this attitude we will always be second to every South East Asian country. Even Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are doing better than us and it is all because of our narrow and rigid thinking.

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  • Raj Kafir
    Jul 25, 2014 - 2:29AM

    Thank God Qaid-i-Azam created Pakistan for the Muslims of the sub continent. If all the Muslims of India move to Pakistan then India’s poverty ratio will be drastically reduced to around 25 per cent. But this is not going to happen, Indian Muslims should pro actively engage themselves for better future by virtue of Family Planning and taking advantage of Indian Education System. Pakistanis should also do the same. We are in Twenty First Century. Cheers!!!

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  • It's (still) Economy Stupid
    Jul 25, 2014 - 2:46AM

    The report added that 52 per cent of Pakistanis live in poverty.
    In democracy 51% is considered as majority.
    Statistics is like a bikini.
    What is revealed is interesting and
    what is concealed is vital

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  • Syed Jalal Kashmiri
    Jul 25, 2014 - 4:28AM

    Indian trolls will have a field day. But Pakistan is way ahead of India in poverty eradication and quality of life.

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  • Denial Pakistani-style
    Jul 25, 2014 - 5:18AM

    Pakistanis love to dwell on denial-conspiracy theory the wrongs that constantly prevail in the country. For a country mired in corruption at every level because the average Pakistani citizen does nothing to change this virus that has stopped the country from helping the poor and needy. The military has a great level of existence, the rich are isolated with huge walls around their houses and the middle class has some relative or family member overseas so with incoming remittence they have sufficient income to lead a decent life, so why should they care? Only the poor are displaced people from Waziristan and military clean out the Government is lazy & slow as they have no clout or representation so they are ignored.

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  • a&a
    Jul 25, 2014 - 5:27AM

    Happy Independence Day Celebrations…….Recommend

  • jssidhoo
    Jul 25, 2014 - 5:30AM

    What low standards we set for ourselves i see Indians feeling happy that Pakistan is at 147 quite overlooking the fact that we are at 135 .I beat you because i came second last while you came last that is our mindset on both sides of the border . No desire to come in the top ten just happy at our own private match .

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  • 1984
    Jul 25, 2014 - 7:46AM

    @Karachiite.A
    Let me play the numbers even more like you…

    The number of people ABOVE Poverty line in India is more than the number of people ABOVE poverty line in USA!!!!!

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  • truthplease
    Jul 25, 2014 - 8:39AM

    @Karachiitte.A

    Your comment proves the foremost reason for why Pakistan has an increase in poverty and India shows a decrease in poverty every year despite a huge population gap.

    Now bases on facts, Pakistan has a increase in 3% of its population under poverty , ie It pushed 5.4 million people to poverty this year. Where as, India pulled out 2.6% people out of poverty this year, ie roughly around a massive 30 million.

    India’s poverty elimination seems small only because of its staggering population. Take account the absolute numbers, you will see how much it makes for its people.

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  • Mirza
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:15AM

    These are all enemies of Pakistan and it is a conspiracy by jealous countries. We are the best if you don’t believe me ask the Pakistani leaders and generals.

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  • Jul 25, 2014 - 9:25AM

    with gdp one tenth of iran and a population almost double there is not much the country can do to alleviate poverty, some real decisions need to be made

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  • tata
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:41AM

    A 3 percent increase in poor. Next year it will be 5 to 7 percent because of hifh number of IDPs.

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  • ABC
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:52AM

    @IndianDude:

    It is all a conspiracy to defame the greatest “inslamic” country

    Why dont you first learn to write. We all know the standards of Indian schooling

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  • taj-dholakpur
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:53AM

    I am feeling ashamed today.Only 11rank ahead of Pakistan.

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  • Shujaat Ahmed Syed
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:54AM

    This shows prioritization of government so far so now on expenditures. There are 3 main standard pillars of HDI , Life standard , Education and access to basic health which sadly here we are neglecting as individuals and government is also more concerned in having least development projects as their priorities.

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  • Baba Ji
    Jul 25, 2014 - 12:03PM

    Time to celebrate !!!! at least we maintained our position ….Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jul 25, 2014 - 12:43PM

    Thank you MAJ for making us worse then India.
    Will the last person leaving the room please switch off the lights (if there is electricity).

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  • MK
    Jul 25, 2014 - 1:40PM

    @Syed Jalal Kashmiri:
    Ok, now go to sleep peacefully because you have assured yourself that pakistan is better, or wait a second ..sleep peacefully? i forgot about the 20 hour long load sheddding. Go for a stroll instead as you feel vindicated due to india’s failure, you might bump into about a million tourists visiting your city from waziristan bringing in precious foreign exchange.

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  • HashK
    Jul 25, 2014 - 6:28PM

    Same as usual comments from Indians —– Big headedness, dramatization, prejudice, exaggeration in Bollywood style.

    Its rare to come across any Indian who speaks sensibly and rationally. Terrorism is hot topic for Indian’s now a days as well as finding mistakes and mimicking others English language skills (just to humiliate them unnecessarily).

    Let me tell you (Indians) some reality. Every day there is some kind of terrorist activity in Pakistan to terrorise its population with potentially far reaching effects on rest of the world and every day there is gang rape in India to terrorise its population with potentially far reaching effects on rest of the world.

    Since 1947 a fact remains the same on both sides of the border, general population of both countries have never learnt to think critically. Mere increase in percentage of literate population of any country does not indicate level of critical thinking skills of that population. Similar concept extends to Bangladesh as well, although it appears from percentage numbers there are more literate persons in that country as compared with other countries. But the ground reality is they can only read and write they are unable to think in this century. I have came across so many Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (the well educated ones) in UK who from surface appears to be educated and well behaved, degree holders. But moment someone asks them a well founded question which requires some level of critical thinking to answer, these degree holders turn into a pile of rubbish.

    Certainly all of these countries have produced some personalities but they are only a tiny fraction of that society, not enough in this century for good survival.

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  • lol
    Jul 25, 2014 - 6:54PM

    @HashK: there are 6 acid attacks on women in a single day too…. forgot huh??? culprits caught?? NO …

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  • HashK
    Jul 25, 2014 - 7:31PM

    @lol: @HashK: there are 6 acid attacks on women in a single day too…. forgot huh??? culprits caught?? NO …

    Thanks, for validating my whole point that population of these countries is lacking a vital skill in their life which is critical thinking skill. When I posted my comment I did not intend to write whole database of crimes in this region and the validation of Pakistan’s justice system. Surely apart from acid attacks in Pakistan rape is also happening many other forms of human right abuses occur in Pakistan both from civilians and authorities.

    I shall not mention further about crimes in other neighbouring countries, because I am not playing a tit for tat game here, as is usual in comment section. But you did miss the whole point of my comment because of lack of comprehension skills.

    Thanks for displaying the whole world what I said was actually right. This whole region does lack that vital skill of life which is not instinctual, any one can learn it and refine it till the end of their life. THIS PERTICULAR SKILL IS MOTHER OF ALL SKILLS.

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  • R.Subramanian
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:51PM

    @Economist:
    I feel this poverty index, below 1.5 dollars, 1.7 dollars are all wrong… because in India, if you have 1.5 dollar per day means in INR it is around 90 rupees and in a family if two persons works they can earn around 180 rupees per day… you know with 180 rupees per day we can live very well without any difficulties… that means commodity prices in India is lower than world standard… if you see from dollar term, then India is poor country, if you see it from Indian Rupee term then India is not poor country. I feel UN has to change its poverty study, they should not do it from Western Point of view, by that way they are doing it completely wrong.

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  • Fernandez Diaz
    Jul 25, 2014 - 11:44PM

    I’m Sri Lankan, I m really happy with the status, We are best in South Asia, 5th in Asia, after Singapore, Japan, S.Korea and Malaysia and 73 in the world, which means high development category..!! That is very good move after having Asia’s longest civil war….Now country is going rapidly, I hope we can beat Malaysia within 5 yrs and will be top 50 in next 10 yrs. So happy we are ahead of Iran Which is Oil and Gas country…!!…Also China, Brazil S.Africa, Indonesia Georgia and Ukraine etc.
    As you are neighboring countries, hope you are satisfy our movement…

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  • Jul 26, 2014 - 11:52AM

    @R.Subramanian
    and above that India gives subsidy on many things. There are schemes like free mid day meal, free education, free medicine all these reduces the need of money.

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  • Jul 26, 2014 - 11:52AM

    @R.Subramanian
    and above that India gives subsidy on many things. There are schemes like free mid day meal, free education, free medicine all these reduces the need of money.Recommend

  • HashK
    Jul 26, 2014 - 3:44PM

    @Sudhanshu Swami:@R.Subramanian
    and above that India gives subsidy on many things. There are schemes like free mid day meal, free education, free medicine all these reduces the need of money.

    These subsidies mean that Indian population cannot cope the burden of basic necessities of daily life with 180 INR, if two persons earn in a family as mentioned by R.Subramanian above. What if only one person works in a family? Should it mean government should give more subsidies and hence even less need of money for general population?

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  • HashK
    Jul 26, 2014 - 4:28PM

    @R.Subramanian: I feel this poverty index …………………… they should not do it from Western Point of view, by that way they are doing it completely wrong.

    You are rejecting this established method of measurement based purely on your feelings.

    If you want to measure any thing consistently you must use some kind of agreed standard.

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  • ishrat salim
    Jul 26, 2014 - 6:23PM

    It does not make sense, but proves my friends saying ” we have gone intellectually bankrupt “. Why guys are dwelling on this subject, each one trying to justify & impose his / her opinion on others. The subject in question should rest when even our own finance minister has claimed in the NA that our poverty index has increased to more than 50 %….people living below poverty line has increased to more than 50 % in other word, so what is the problem. Negative discussions should rest when our pwn FM is conceding. Why do we not face facts, the ground realities and find solution to this problem instead of wasting time commenting just for the sake of commenting….

    The reason for the mess we are in today is…we have short memory, we are an emotional nation, we wake up from our slumber when water has flown under the bridge, we are intolerant towards everything, we are most impatient people, we elect a leader then we go after him to get rid of him asap ( because we want to see change overnight, as if our leaders are born with Aladdin lamp ), we lie including our leaders during their election rallies & announce un-workable manifestos to the people. Then after a year or so, the people get dis-enchanted & demand result as promised….& the list is long.

    Only if we in general STOP lying, we would be much better off…..this habit of lying has transformed into our nature and corruption from top to bottom has become part of our culture & we all have become links in this chain…THINK !

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  • Hilarious
    Jul 26, 2014 - 6:53PM

    @HashK

    I just love it when people start getting ‘holier than thou’.
    “I have came across so many Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (the well educated ones) in UK who from surface appears to be educated and well behaved, degree holders. But moment someone asks them a well founded question which requires some level of critical thinking to answer, these degree holders turn into a pile of rubbish.”
    Welcome to the real world – if you have been in UK, you will also know that similar traits appear in people all over the world. You think that the West is filled with logical, reasonable people who are the only ones capable of “critical thinking”? With comments such as – “Same as usual comments from Indians —– Big headedness, dramatization, prejudice, exaggeration in Bollywood style. Its rare to come across any Indian who speaks sensibly and rationally. Terrorism is hot topic for Indian’s now a days as well as finding mistakes and mimicking others English language skills (just to humiliate them unnecessarily).” – you are just a living example of the point you make! Your very generalisation reveals you and the shallowness you wallow in. Not much of a “critical thinker”, are you?

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  • HashK
    Jul 26, 2014 - 11:04PM

    @Hilarious:

    Please reread all the comments from every one again on this article and then judge for your self again. Also try to visit ET on daily basis and read comments section on different topics you will see the emerging picture of who is claiming to be holier.

    Furthermore, my comment and criticism was for South Asians and not for the whole world. How did you conclude from my comments earlier that I think entire west is filled with logical reasonable people???

    I also said “Since 1947 a fact remains the same on both sides of the border, general population of both countries have never learnt to think critically.” Hence you claim that I have generalised. You may have got the idea from my comments earlier that not all of the population in these countries following the same path and certainly some portion of population is doing it right but that’s not enough for good survival in this century.

    Opening of my comment did point specifically toward Indians as they are the biggest group in South Asia claiming to be better than others, but towards the end of my comment you should have get the whole picture that it was not generalisation towards Indians. Why not comments of so many Indians improved over time while in the last 2 decades economy has improved and percentage of literate population has increased. (Same thing happening all over South Asia).

    You should consider following two points of yours again as you did not get the whole picture right in the first instance.

    *I just love it when people start getting ‘holier than thou’.*

    *you are just a living example of the point you make! Your very generalisation reveals you and the shallowness you wallow in.*

    I agree with what you said Not much of a “critical thinker”, are you? as no one can say for sure how much of a critical thinker they are, its never ending area to explore, every one can get better and better as they utilise this skill.

    Please reply and let me know what you think.

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  • R.Subramanian
    Jul 27, 2014 - 2:21AM

    @HashK:
    I told in India with 180 rupees per day we can live very comfortably based on standard market rate I did not include the Government subsidies. If the family uses Government subsidies means then they can live with 90 rupees per day…but this 90 rupees per day data is really wrong one, here normal unskilled low level labour is asking minimum 350 per day and the other side in high salary jobs, in software field, the salary is equivalent to what people are earning in US and Europe.. that means we can earn 2000 dollars to 4000 dollars per month in India itself… So I strong feel as far as India is concerned this poverty data is really wrong.

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  • HashK
    Jul 27, 2014 - 3:07PM

    @R.Subramanian: @HashK:
    I told in India with 180 rupees per day we can live very comfortably ………… per month in India itself… So I strong feel as far as India is concerned this poverty data is really wrong.

    Poverty relates to poor population who are either unemployed or low earners and not to people employed on well earned jobs with regular stream of income. (qualified or non-qualified).

    Looking at your comments earlier I can see that you are assuming that people earn minimum 180 INR a day, apart from that you are only considering people who are earning something above that and you conclude that poverty data is wrong. What you are missing from your analysis is poor with either no source of income or very little income (irregular low income as well).

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