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Vietnam Slightly Advances on UN Human Development Index to No. 117 of 189

Over the last 30 years, Vietnam's HDI (Human Development Index) has grown by 46%, amongst the biggest jump in the world.

A United Nations report titled "Human Development and the Anthropocene" released last week places Vietnam at 117th out of 189 nations in terms of overall development. In the 2019 report, Vietnam ranked 118th out of 189.

The study examining the state of the world during the age of human dominion notes Vietnam's positive advances in health, education, employment, and rural development. Gender equality scored particularly well, with Vietnam scoring a Gender Development Index value of 0.997, ranking 65th out of 162 countries. Teacher training, rural electrification and low unemployment are all cited as positive aspects of the nation's growth.

Vietnam rose in part due to moderate and stable levels of inequality and the number of hospital beds available for those in need. "Vietnam's High Human Development is a remarkable achievement and also creates opportunities for greater and more rapid progress in the coming development period," said Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Vietnam Resident Representative.

Despite Vietnam's achievements related to its ability to respond to natural disasters and forest coverage, it falls into the bottom-third of countries on various environmental issues. This is the first time that the report takes into account carbon dioxide emissions and a nation's environmental footprint, and Vietnam lags behind other nations in terms of carbon emissions per GDP, land degradation, and fertilizer use. Carbon emissions, in particular, along with consumption, dropped Vietnam 5.7% on the HDI scale.

Moreover, sex ratio at birth, violence against women, and households vulnerable to occupation instability thanks to self-employment are noted as areas for improvement. 

Trần Quốc Phương, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, summed up the findings: "Vietnam is one of the countries most affected by climate change. With the additional use of this indicator, the country will have a basis in promulgating and implementing appropriate policies to promptly respond to the issue of environmental pollution and climate change."