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Human Development Index
2013 Human Development Report global press release

Human Development Report 2013

Mar 12, 2013

The 2013 Human Development Report examines the profound shift in global dynamics driven by the   fast-rising powers of the developing world – and its implications for human development.


The South is developing at a pace unprecedented in human history, with hundreds of millions of people being lifted out of poverty in developing nations and billions more poised to join a new global middle class.  


It’s not only the so called BRICS that are at the forefront of the Rise of the South  - Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda,  and Vietnam  are among the human-development high achievers highlighted.


Highlights: Arab States Region


There are two countries in the region (Qatar and United Arab Emirates) in the very high human development group and eight (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Lebanon, Oman, Algeria and Tunisia) in the high human development group; six (Jordan, occupied Palestinian territory, Egypt, Syrian Arab Republic, Morocco and Iraq) in the medium human development group; and the remaining three (Yemen, Djibouti and Sudan) are in the low human development group.


The average HDI value for the region of 0.652 is below the world average of 0.694 and below the averages for East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.


Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 0.94 percent in HDI value, placing it fourth in comparison to other regions. Looking at individual countries in the region, Yemen achieved the fastest growth (1.66 percent), followed by Morocco with 1.2 percent and Algeria, 1.1 percent.


The region’s average life expectancy at birth is 71.0 years, about a year higher than the world average and places the region ahead of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa regions. The region’s average mean years of schooling of six years is 1.3 years higher than those of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa regions but 1.5 years below the World average and over four years below the average for Europe and Central Asia. The average gross national income per capita of $8,317 (PPP$ constant 2005 international) is about 82 percent of the world average of $10,184.


The region is ranked third out of six regions in terms of overall loss to HDI due to inequality in distribution (25.4 percent) and over two percentage points higher compared to the world’s average loss of 23.3 percent. The education component is where the loss due to inequality is highest (39.6 percent) followed by income (17.5 percent).


The average Gender Inequality Index value for the region is 0.555—only better than South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of components, a relatively higher level of maternal mortality ratio; a very low female share in parliamentary seats (13 percent, the lowest relative to other regions); as well as low female labour force participation rate (22.8 percent also the lowest) account for the poor performance on the GII.


The total value for the region of merchandise goods exports was $546.6 billion, representing four percent of total world exports of $13.6 trillion. Saudi Arabia leads in the region exporting goods to the tune of $245.9 billion in 2010, representing 59.4 percent of its GDP in that year. This is followed by Algeria ($57.1 billion) and then Kuwait ($50.3 billion) representing 38 percent and 43.8 percent of their respective GDPs.


The region has the lowest employment-to-population ratio (52.6 percent) below the world average of 65.8 percent. There is also wide variation across countries and territories ranging from a low employment-to-population-ratio of 41.2 percent in occupied Palestinian territory to 89.9 percent in Qatar.


The highest youth unemployment is reported for Egypt—54.1 percent followed by occupied Palestinian territory—49.6 percent.



Human Development Index (HDI) Statistical Explanations

Saudi Arabia
Syrian Arab Republic
United Arab Emirates


The Report reviews key regional development trends, as shown by the HDI and other data:

  • Arab States: The region’s average HDI value of 0.652 is fourth out of the six developing country regions analysed in the Report, with Yemen achieving the fastest HDI growth since 2000 (1.66%). The region has the lowest employment-to–population ratio (52.6%), well below the world average of 65.8%.
  • East Asia and the Pacific: The region has an average HDI value of 0.683 and registered annual HDI value growth between 2000 and 2012 of 1.31%, with Timor-Leste leading with 2.71%, followed by Myanmar at 2.23%. The East Asia-Pacific region has the highest employment-to–population ratio (74.5%) in the developing world.
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia: The average HDI value of 0.771 is the highest of the six developing-country regions. Multi-dimensional poverty is minimal, but it has the second lowest employment-to-population ratio (58.4%) of the six regions
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: The average HDI value of 0.741 is the second highest of the six regions, surpassed only by Eastern Europe and Central Asia average. Multi-dimensional poverty is relatively low, and overall life satisfaction, as measured by the Gallup World Poll, is 6.5 on a scale from 0 to 10, the highest of any region.
  • South Asia: The average HDI value for the region of 0.558 is the second lowest in the world. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 1.43% in HDI value, which is the highest of the regions. Afghanistan achieved the fastest growth (3.9%), followed by Pakistan (1.7%) and India (1.5%).
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: The average HDI value of 0.475 is the lowest of any region, but the pace of improvement is rising. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered average annual growth of 1.34 percent in HDI value, placing it second only to South Asia, with Sierra Leone (3.4%) and Ethiopia (3.1%) achieving the fastest HDI growth.

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