How developed are we?

UNDP in its November 2007 reported that Brunei ranked
30th out of 177 countries
in its Human Development Index statistics. We ranked 34th last year and 33rd the year before that. Two questions arise - what is the Human Development Index and how do we fare against others?

Unlike GDP per capita which measures income per capita, the HDI measures life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living against the country's GDP per capita. It measures well-being and can determine whether a country is a developed, developing, or underdeveloped country.

So we ranked 30th - is that good? Judging by the data, it's hard to say. Overall, we are okay. But our index of 0.894 with an income of about US$28,000 per capita compared to Uruguay index of 0.85 and with an income only a third of Brunei (US$10,000) makes ours pale by comparison - we are not as efficient or more developed as Uruguay when based on our much higher GDP per capita. Drill down, our life expectancy ranked 36th, adult literacy at 44th; secondary and tertiary enrolement at 67th and all this measured against our GDP which is high on 22nd place. The underlying tone is that we should have done much better.

When compared against gender related development, our position flies out of window and we really looked like an underdeveloped country. In general we ranked 79th. On life expectancy around 105th, adult literacy 83rd and school enrolment 68th. In keeping the earth green, compared to China's supposedly more polluted reputation, per capita we are indeed worse than almost anyone on the planet. Each one of us released 24 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to China's 3.8 tonnes per year.

Overall HDI in ASEAN we are second - 1st Singapore (ranked 25th - 0.922), 2nd Brunei (0.894), 3rd Malaysia at 63rd with 0.811, 4th is Thailand at 0.781 on 78th, 5th is Philippines on 90th, 7th Indonesia on 107th with 0.728, 8th Cambodia on 131st with 0.598 index, 9th Myanmar on 132nd with 0.583 and 10th Laos on 130th place with 0.601. I will do what I can to better our situation. In the meantime, we all have to do our part too.


Anonymous said…
Just a thought... how reliable are these figures since collecting data from some departments are notoriously difficult and their accuracy questionable? Also is there data out there re:what our income per capita is if we exclude the the top 1% of earners in the country?
It just shows that we are a good example of the notion 'growth without development'..worrying really...
Anonymous said…
he! he! if we improve our standing by 1/year then in 20 years we will achieved our wawasan 2035.(ie top 10 in HDI )

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