Pakistan Places Abysmally in Human Development Index for 2017

Human development has not been a major priority in Pakistan, and this is reflected in the recently released Human Development Report 2016 by the United Nations. The Human Development Index has ranked Pakistan at 147 out of the 188 countries included in the report.

The index includes Pakistan in the Medium Human Development bracket, although it is the lowest ranked country within that bracket – behind India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The report places countries into four distinct categories, namely, Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development, and Low Human Development.

According to the latest report, Pakistan’s HDI value is 0.550. The country’s life expectancy at birth is 66.4 years, while the gross national income (GNI) per capita, when adjusted for purchasing power parity, is $5,031. The expected years of schooling is 8.1 years – among the lowest on the list.

The report does, however, highlight the progress Pakistan has made over the past 25 years or so. Between 1990 and 2015, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.404 to 0.550, an increase of 36.2 percent. Over the same period, Pakistan’s life expectancy at birth increased by 6.3 years, expected years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and GNI per capita increased by about 57.5 percent.

Pakistan’s progress in human development, however, has not been at par with that of many other countries. The figure below compares Pakistan’s HDI trends with those for India and Bangladesh over the period 1990-2015.

Meanwhile, Norway ranks on top in the Human Development Index, followed by Australia and Switzerland. A large number of countries included in the ‘Very High Human Development’ bracket are from Europe, while none is from Africa.

Below is a list of the top 10 countries on the index, along with their respective HDI values:

1. Norway (0.949)
2. Australia (0.939)
2. Switzerland (0.939)
4. Germany (0.926)
5. Denmark (0.925)
5. Singapore (0.925)
7. Netherlands (0.924)
8. Ireland (0.923)
9. Iceland (0.921)
10. Canada (0.920)
10. United States (0.920)

The complete Human Development Report 2016 can be downloaded here.


  • ar

    It boils down to the number of honest tax payers in a country. In India people pay taxes honestly (18% of GDP) and government has enough money to spend on people. In Pakistan only few pay taxes honestly (11% of GDP) and government has little money to spend on people.

  • Eral

    Can’t people see Pakistan is busy trying to control blasphemy? It appears to be of a much greater importance than food, water, and all the other essentials of life. Geez you people, mind your own business.

    • Bilal Majeed

      TOTALLY unrelated to the Topic at Hand :P
      Progress and Prosperity depends on HARD-WORK,HONESTY and moral values of the population. Islam taught the same.The countries which are at the top are because there people are honest and hard-working which our religion taught us to do but is followed by them.Just like Caliph Omar(RA) law is being followed in Sweden which should have been followed in Muslim world.
      We are not progressing bcuz of Laziness, Corrupt Politicians and Masses and very low tax payers,also it is due to Western agenda and media which portrays our country negatively to the whole world resulting in the loss of FDI and exports.When western foreigners come to Pakistan they say it themselves that Pakistan is portrayed negatively in Media but in reality it is very different and they enjoyed visiting the country.I can say proudly that if we follow Islam whole heartedly We will progress just like Sweden and like in Islamic Golden Age.

      • Eral

        As soon as I read ‘Western agenda’, I knew it wasn’t worth reading anymore. You people have only yourselves to blame as well as your ‘friend’ Saudi Arabia in allowing terrorism to flourish. Quit blaming the US and Israel for your problems and crying over a potential US visa ban just because some countries have decided to put precedence over security. Religious fundamentalism will always put you back no matter what your country tries doing; just look at how a secular society has benefited the West.

        • Bilal Majeed

          Ohh i’m sorry I think I hit a nerve when I mentioned Western Agenda.
          If there is no Western Agenda why 36 CIA Agents were in Pakistan???
          And why Hussain Haqqani was given exclusive powers to renew visas for 36 CIA agents??
          What the west is doing in Asia is not hidden to the whole world
          They disrupted the peace in Syria, then Iraq War, Then Afghanistan, Libyan War, Vietnam War resulting a loss of FDI in the entire region………USA doesn’t want to be left out in Asia as it is losing its influence in Asia due to China,they are always orchestrating to destabilize the entire Middle East and nowadays even SouthChina Sea.But oh Well…………Its a long debate ;)
          Btw leaving Western Agenda do you agree with the rest of what i mentioned?
          Secularism doesn’t leads to progress its HARDWORKING and most importantly HONEST population and politicians that matters.
          Despite all problems Pakistan is still progressing,”The report highlights the progress Pakistan has made over the past 25 years or so. Between 1990 and 2015, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.404 to 0.550, an increase of 36.2 PERCENT. Over the same period, Pakistan’s life expectancy at birth increased by 6.3 years, expected years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and GNI per capita increased by about 57.5 percent.”
          I challenge you that if CPEC is completed despite Western and Indian Interventions like RAW supported terrorism. there will be no more USA in this region. it will be an Energy Rich Middle East + Central Asia and an ever growing China and rapidly emerging Africa. A win-win situation for Pakistan serving as a corridor. And there will be no more of you commenting here :P

    • Bilal Majeed

      Read the whole post before commenting your paid BS !!!. it looks like you don’t even have the knowledge of how economical factors work.
      The report also said Pakistan has made a significant gain in the 25 years.
      “The report highlights the progress Pakistan has made over the past 25 years or so. Between 1990 and 2015, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.404 to 0.550, an increase of 36.2 PERCENT. Over the same period, Pakistan’s life expectancy at birth increased by 6.3 years, expected years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and GNI per capita increased by about 57.5 percent.”