India’s ranking on the United Nations’ Human Development Index improved to 134 in 2022 from 135 in 2021out of 193 countries, a report released by the organisation on Wednesday said

In 2021, the country was ranked 135th among 191 countries. India is, however, still behind neighbouring Bangladesh (129), Bhutan (125), Sri Lanka (78) and China (75). The Human Development Index is derived from life expectancy, education and per capita income.

India saw improvements across all Human Development Index indicators – life expectancy, education, and Gross National Income per capita, said the United Nations report, titled “Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a Polarized World”.

The report builds on the 2021-’22 Human Development Report.

Life expectancy in India rose from 67.2 in 2021 to 67.7 years in 2022. The expected years of schooling reached 12.6, while mean years of schooling increased to 6.57 in 2022.

Expected years of schooling is the number of years that a child who attains school-going age is likely to spend at an educational institution. Mean years of schooling is the average number of years of education of a country's population aged 25 years and older. This excludes the number of years spent repeating a class.

The country’s gross national income per capita has increased to $6951 (Rs 5,75,949.09) from $6,542 (Rs 5,42,059.98), a jump of 6.3% in the span of 12 months, the United Nations Human Development Index showed.

“India has shown remarkable progress in human development over the years,” Caitlin Wiesen, the United Nations Development Programme's India representative said. “Since 1990, life expectancy at birth has risen by 9.1 years; expected years of schooling have increased by 4.6 years, and mean years of schooling have grown by 3.8 years.”

The report also said that with India’s Gender Inequality Index value of 0.437 in 2022, the country fares better than the global average of 0.462 and the South Asian average of 0.478.

Globally, Switzerland ranked first in this year’s chart, gaining a score 0.967, which is an increase from its 2021 score of 0.962. Somalia ranked last in the list at 193. The African nation was included in the list for the first time.

The report also said that the emerging “democracy paradox” is hindering international collective action.

“While nine in ten people worldwide endorse democracy, over half of global survey respondents express support for leaders that may undermine it by bypassing fundamental rules of the democratic process, as per data analysed in the report,” UN said. “Half of people surveyed worldwide report having no or limited control over their lives, and over two-thirds believe they have little influence on their government’s decisions.”