The Jakarta Post
For the first time in its history, Indonesia has made it into the United Nation’s high human development category thanks to its improved ranking in the 2018 Human Development Index (HDI).
With an HDI value of 0.707, Indonesia ranked 111 out of 189 countries and territories last year, the UN Development Program (UNDP) revealed at the launch of its latest Human Development Report in Sarinah, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.
UNDP Indonesia resident representative Christophe Bahuet congratulated the country for its "historic achievement", saying it was a result of a strong national commitment to improving human development in many aspects, including economic, health and education, which are measured by the HDI.
Indonesia's HDI value has increased from 0.525 in 1990 when the annual HDR was first released by the UNDP.
Since then, the country's average life expectancy grew from 62.3 years to 71.5 years, the number of years of schooling increased from 3.3 years to eight years and expected years of schooling climbed from 10.1 years to 12.9 years.
The archipelago's Gross National Income (GNI) per capita increased by 155.9 percent to US$11,256 in 2018 from $4,399 in 1999.
Despite the improvement, Bahuet also highlighted that inequality remained a problem that prevented the country from achieving its maximum potential.
"If you are an Indonesian man, your HDI is 0.727 but if you are a woman, your HDI is 0.681," Bahuet said, adding that women were the largest victims of inequality.
Therefore, he suggested that the country make sure there were public policies to provide similar opportunities for all.
"Equality really matters as it can make further progress in HDI."
The UNDP showed in its written statement that 17.4 percent of Indonesia's HDI value was lost on account of inequality — a greater loss compared to most of its East Asian and Pacific neighbors, where the average loss on account of inequality stands at 16.6 percent.
The UNDP divides the index into the low, medium, high and very high categories. The range for the high category starts from 0.700 to 0.799. The latest report shows that there are 62 countries in the "very high" category, including Singapore at ninth place, Brunei Darussalam at 43rd and Malaysia at 61st. Indonesia is among 54 countries in the high category, along with Thailand at 77th place and Philippines at 106th. (evi)