PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has gone up in ranks in terms of its people’s life expentancy, standard of living and knowledge status, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) index.
Malaysia scored 0.802 in its Human Development Index (HDI) for 2017, which is considered as “very-high human development”, according to the 2018 statistical update of Human Development Indices and Indicators.
In 2016, the country’s score was 0.799.
Malaysia is ranked 57th out of 189 countries and territories, moving up one place.
Besides Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei are the only other South-East Asian countries considered to have “very-high human development” status.
Singapore has a score of 0.932 (9th ranking) while Brunei has a score of 0.852 (39th ranking).
Thailand is considered to have high human development status while all the other Asean countries are considered to have medium human development statuses.
The HDI, which was first introduced in 1990, is defined as a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
According to the report, Malaysia’s HDI value increased from 0.643 in 1990 to 0.802 in 2017, an increase of 24.7%.
Between 1990 and 2017, Malaysia’s life expectancy at birth increased by 4.8 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.7 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.0 years.
Malaysia’s gross national income (GNI) per capita also increased by about 156.7% between 1990 and 2017, according to the report.
Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany lead the HDI rankings, while Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores.
The HDI is based primarily on international data from the United Nations Population Division (the life expectancy data), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics (the mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling data) and the World Bank (the GNI per capita data).