India ranks 132 in UNDP's Human Development Index, amid a global fall

UNDP Human Development Index2021: In the recently released Human Development Report (HDI) 2021-22 rankings by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), India continued its decline in the second consecutive year.

Key Points:

  • India has been ranked 132 out of 191 countries.
  • In 2021, India was ranked 131st.
  • This is the second consecutive year in which India has registered a drop in its ranking and the first time in 30 years.

"Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping Our Future in a Transforming World" is the report's title for this year.

India’s Decline in UNDP HDI:

  • In the 2022 report, India reported HDI value of 0.633 places, which placed it in the medium human development category.
  • India’s HDI value during 2021 was 0.633, lower than the world average of 0.732.
  • In 2020 also, India recorded a decline in its HDI value (0.642) as compared to the pre-Covid level of 2019 (0.645).

The reason for India's HDI decline:

The UNDP report identifies several significant factors that account for India's ongoing slide in the Human Development Index. The key among them are:

Gross National Income (GNI) per capita:

  • India’s GNP per capita (2017 PPP) at $6,590.

India’s Life expectancy at birth:

  • In 2021, during the survey peroid, the life expectancy of Indians fell from 69.7 years to 67.2 years.
  • This has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deadly second wave which led to thousands of deaths across the country.

Drop in Schooling Years:

  • The expected schooling years for an Indian also declined from 12.2 years in 2020 to 11.9 years in 2021.
  • But on the other hand, the India's mean average schooling years grew marginally from 6.5 years to 6.7 years during the survey period.

Drop in Female Life Expectancy:

  • Despite a fall in life expectancy generally, the drop was significant among females.
  • Female Life Expectancy in the UNDP’s HDI report was reported at 11.9 years, lower compared to the previous standard of 12.9 years.

Drop in Female School Years:

  • In the same way, the schooling years reported for female students also reported a decline from 12.6 to 11.9 years

Top 10 countries:

The List of Top 10 Countries in the UNDP’s Human Development Index are listed below:

  • According to the UNDP Index the top 10 countries are Switzerland, Norway, then Iceland, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Germany and Netherlands respectively.

India and its neighbourhood:

One of the key factors that analysts need to consider while discussing the UNDP HDI Report is the performance of India in comparison to its neighbourhood.

  • Sri Lanka, despite its economic fall, continues to enjoy the highest rank at 73rd place followed by China at 79, Bhutan 127th, Bangladesh 129th, Nepal 143rd and Pakistan 161st.
  • Pakistan ranks below all other neighbours.

About HDI:

  • The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure of a nation's health, education, and average income.


  • The UNDP HDI Report is an annual survey report which is released by the United Nations Development Programme.
  • The report analyses a country’s achievement on Human Development Index based on its performance in the following matrices:
  1. Gross National Income (per capita)
  2. Life Expectancy at Birth
  3. Mean Years of Schooling
  4. Expected Years of Schooling