UN Human development index notes continued improvement
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas global ranking on the United Nations Human Development report remained unchanged in the latest release for 2019, once again placing 60th of 189 countries.
The HDR 2019, titled ‘Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21stcentury’, was released today.
The annex of the 2019 HDR represents the 2018 valued HDI (human development index) — 0.805, which puts the country in a very high HDI category.
The HDI (human development index) is a summary measure of average achievement in the key dimensions of human development, including life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling, mean years of schooling and GNI (gross national income) per capita.
However, the report said: “The Bahamas’ 2018 HDI of 0.805 is below the average of 0.892 for countries in the very high human development group and above the average of 0.759 for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“From Latin America and the Caribbean, countries which are close to Bahamas in 2018 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, which have HDIs ranked 103 and 63 respectively.”
The Bahamas’ HDI has steadily risen since 2000 when it was 0.787.
According to the report, “it is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because of revisions and updates of the underlying data and adjustments to goalposts.”
In 2017, The Bahamas ranked 54th.
It 2013, The Bahamas was ranked 49th.
The nation ranked 51st in 2015; 55th in 2015 and 49th in 2016.
“In every country many people have little prospect for a better future,” the report read.
“Lacking hope, purpose or dignity, they watch from society’s sidelines as they see others pull ahead to ever greater prosperity.
“Worldwide many have escaped extreme poverty, but even more have neither the opportunities nor the resources to control their lives. Far too often gender, ethnicity or parents’ wealth still determines a person’s place in society.
The UN report noted that the nation experienced “tragic loss of life and devastation” as a result of Hurricane Dorian in September, noting it was the “strongest hurricane to strike the country since the record-keeping began in 1851”.
The report said: “The communities hardest hit included shantytowns populated mostly by poor Haitian immigrants, some of whom had fled the devastating 2010 earthquake in their home country.”
The Bahamas ranked second out of the 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries, coming in behind Barbados which ranked 54.
Antigua and Barbuda ranked 74; Cuba ranked 72; Dominica ranked 98; Grenada ranked 78; Haiti ranked 169; Jamaica, 96; Saint Kitts and Nevis, 73; Saint Lucia, 89; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 94; Trinidad and Tobago, 63.
Norway topped the list, followed by Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia.
Chad, Central African Republic and Niger ranked 187, 188 and 189 respectively.