The Jakarta Post
Indonesia boasted a higher life expectancy and higher income last year and climbed to a higher position — although only slightly — on the human development index (HDI) issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
According to the UNDP’s 2013 Human Development Report, Indonesia’s Human Development Index (HDI) has slightly improved to 0.629 in 2012 from 0.617 in 2011, accumulated by a higher life expectancy of 69.8 years along with a firm mean years of schooling of 5.8 years as well as an expected years of schooling of 12.9 years.
Even though the country moved up to 121th position from 124th place in 2011, out of 187 countries surveyed, Indonesia’s HDI is still below the world average of 0.694 and the East Asia and Pacific regional average of 0.683. Indonesia is classed in the “medium human development” category along with 45 other countries.
“Indonesia’s HDI has increased by 49 percent between 1980 and 2012, making it one of the top upward achievers in human development advances. The latest report shows that Indonesia has continued to move forward, as it has done for the last three decades,” UNDP Indonesia Spokesperson Tomi Soetjipto told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
Tomi cited improving access to health and social facilities nationwide as one of the factors to have influenced the increased life expectancy of Indonesians. Indonesia has the same HDI as Kiribati and South Africa.
The report noted Indonesia to be among the developing countries that had done “particularly well” and demonstrated “rapid people-centered development”, and its experience and know-how could inspire fellow developing countries to follow suit.
In addition to Indonesia, the report noted that Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Turkey had made rapid advances.
The House of Representatives speaker Marzuki Alie applauded the UNDP’s report, citing it as a proof of “the government’s consistent effort for development”.
“This means that the government is on the right track. We can further accelerate the development of this country if we join hands and support what the government has been doing,” Marzuki told the Post.
The Democratic Party politician said that the country’s growing development would gradually strengthen Indonesia’s role amid the global community, citing the country’s participation in a committee to formulate the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as an example.
Despite the achievement, Indonesia is still far below several ASEAN members that have achieved far higher HDI, including Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Singapore is the ASEAN country with the highest HDI of 0.895, placing it 18th worldwide, followed by Brunei Darussalam with 0.855 HDI in 30th place and Malaysia ranking 64th with 0.769 HDI. Thailand and the Philippines placed 103th and 114th list with HDI of 0.690 and 0.654 respectively.
Meanwhile, other members, such Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia sit below Indonesia on 127th and 138th position respectively; with Laos and Cambodia share the 138th position.
Norway topped the world’s human development index rank with a score of 0.955; followed by Australia and the US in second and third place with 0.857 and 0.843 respectively.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria were recorded as having the lowest HDI.