The United Nations Development Programme has ranked India 129 among 189 nations on the 2019 Human Development Index, one spot above from its position in last year’s report.

The index monitors nations’ long-term progress and considers factors such as their citizens’ ability to lead a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

The report titled “‘Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century” stated that India’s HDI value increased by 50% from 0.431 to 0.647%, placing it above the average for other south Asian countries.

Norway, Switzerland, Ireland are the top three nations on the index. Germany occupies the fourth position along with Hong Kong, and Australia secured the fifth rank on the global ranking. India’s neighbours Sri Lanka and China ranked higher, at 71 and 85 positions, respectively. Whereas, Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list.

According to the report, South Asia was the fastest growing region in human development progress witnessing a 46% growth over 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%.

In India, 27.1 crore people were lifted out of poverty from 2005-’06 to 2015-’16, UNDP India Representative Shoko Noda said, according to PTI. “The steady progress was due to nearly three decades of rapid development, which had seen a dramatic reduction in absolute poverty, along with gains in life expectancy, education, and access to health care,” she added.

However, in the Gender Inequality Index, India ranks 122 among 162 countries. It said female participation in the labour market is 23.6% compared to 78.6% of men, adding that only 39% of women compared to 63.5% of men have reached at least a secondary level of education.