Laos’ ranking in the United Nation’s Development Programme’s 2015 “Human Development Index”
Note: This is another in a series of posts on “Laos by the numbers.”
Feedback and suggestions are welcome.
Based on the belief that development should be measured in more than economic terms, the Human Development Index (HDI) includes the dimensions of health (life expectancy), knowledge (formal education) and standard of living (GNI per capita).
Since this index was first compiled in 1990, the Lao PDR has risen slowly from 0.397 to the 2015 value of 0.586, which places it in the category of Medium Development (other categories are Very High, High, and Low).
Laos ranks 138th among the 188 countries on the list. In Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea ranks lower at 154th (0.516), Myanmar at 145th (0.556) and Cambodia at 143rd (0.563). Moving up the list is Timor Leste at 133rd (0.605), the Philippines at 116th (0662), Vietnam at 115th (0.683), Indonesia at 113th (0.689). Thailand at 87th (0.740), Malaysia at 59th (0.789), Brunei at 30th (0.865), and Singapore at 5th (0.925).
However, when inequality is considered, Lao’s index falls to 0.427, making it 106th out of 151 countries on the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI). In Southeast Asia, only Timor Leste is lower at 108th (0.416).
A more complete report on Laos and the HDI can be found on the UNDP website.