19 September 2018

South Africa: UNDP Report shows that South Africans are enjoying a longer and healthier life

Photo: Mahyar Sheykhi/WikiMedia
Schoolchildren in Botswana, which has jumped eight places up on the UN's Human Development Index in the past five years. Girls can expect to stay in school for 12.8 years and boys 12.5 years in Botswana, while women can expect to live for an average of 70 years and men 65 years.
press release

Johannesburg — Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s improvement in the 2018 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR). South Africa’s 2018 ranking is 113 out of 189 countries, with an over-all human development score increased to 0.699.

Brand South Africa’s GM for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “This means that South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to education and a more decent living standard. The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies human development as a critical part of inclusive growth and acknowledges its inadequate improvement in relation to education, health and safety. South Africa has a good story developing, indicated by the steady improvement of its HDI score over the last years.”

As in previous years, South Africa has seen a steady increase in its Human Development Index (HDI) value since 1990, moving up 7.2% from 0.621 in 1990, to 0.666 in 2014.  South Africa’s improvement in the rankings comes as a result of advancements in the area of Life Expectancy in which South Africa has made marked progress since 2005.

Released by the UNDP, of these 189 countries the Index covers the following groupings of nations (in terms of human development) appear: 59 – Very High Human Development; 53 – High Human Development; 39 – Medium Human Development; and 38 – Low Human Development (in 2010 there were 49 in the Low Human Development category).

“South Africa is classified as being located in the medium human development category, and the country’s HDI of 0.699 is above average in this category. The country’s performance is even more impressive when compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an average HDI score of 0.537,” adds Dr de Kock.

The top five nations in terms of human development are Norway with an HDI Value of 0.953; Switzerland achieves an HDI Value of 0.944); Australia’s HDI Value is recorded to be at 0.939; Ireland’s HDI Value is positioned at 0.938; and Germany’s HDI Value is reported to be 0.936.

The 2018 report warns that climatic changes, escalating civil conflicts (e.g. in Libya, Yemen, and Syria), and growing inequality will continue to impact negatively on human development prospects in many parts of the world.

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