The 2011 Human Development Index is out. What’s interesting is that inequality, especially gender inequality, has dragged India to the bottom of South Asia and the world in general. At the same time, however, “Sri Lanka has overtaken China on human development and with an HDI of 0.691, is now within touching distance of the “high human development” category” (Times Of India).
Human Development is a bit of a more relevant measure than, say, GDP. Raw income doesn’t really determine quality of life, something that HDI comes closer to capturing. It incorporates inputs from healthcare, education, inequality and sustainability, giving a broader view of quality of life. By that measure Sri Lanka is in the top 100 at number 97. China is at 101 and India is struggling with its huge population at 134.
The Times Of India mentions that Sri Lanka has overtaken China, but as far as I can tell, Sri Lanka was always ahead. Indeed, even throughout the war, we were blessed with low birth-rates, high education and decent healthcare. The story to me seems to be more China’s rise, with a substantially larger population, and India’s difficulty budging a similar mass.
Anyways, still going through the data, they’ve got some interesting data tools if you’d like to poke around.