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World
15 Aug 2017

#IndiaAt70: Where India development stands compared to 5 other countries

Seven decades since its independence, India has made progress on multiple developmental parameters.

However to truly understand where it stands, its progress must be understood in relation to other countries which started with similar parameters as India.

On Independence Day, data-journalism initiative IndiaSpend compared India's progress in improving income, health and education with five other countries - China, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea and Brazil.

In context

How India's development fared compared to others
India's GDP progress slower than China, better than Pakistan

GDP

India's GDP progress slower than China, better than Pakistan

India's GDP per capita was 9% below China in 1960 (in terms of current US$), according to World Bank data. In 2016, it was 79% lower than China's.

In 1960, India's GDP per capita was lower than Malaysia by 65%, Brazil-61%, Pakistan-1.5% and South Korea-49%.

In 2016, it's lower than Malaysia by 82%, Brazil-80%, South Korea-94% but is 16.4% more than Pakistan.

Life expectancy

India's life expectancy improvement better than Brazil, South Korea

In 1960, India's average life expectancy, an indicator of its health system's strength, was 41 years, according to World Bank data. In 2015, this has reached 68 years, a 65.8% increase.

China's life expectancy has increased 76.7% during this period to 76 years, Pakistan's by 65% to 66 years, Brazil's by 38.8% to 75 years and South Korea's by 54.7% to 82 years.

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India lags behind global average life expectancy

Despite improvement, India's average life expectancy of 68 years in 2015 is lower than the global average of 71.4.

India's IMR improvement faster than Pakistan, slower than Brazil, Malaysia

Infant Mortality Rate

India's IMR improvement faster than Pakistan, slower than Brazil, Malaysia

In 1960, India's infant mortality rate (IMR) reduced 76% from 165 deaths/1000 children to 38 deaths in 2015.

IMR is defined as the number of babies per 1000 births who died before their first birthday. It's an indicator for quality of health system.

From 1960 and 2015, Brazil's IMR declined 92%, South Korea's by 96%, Malaysia by 91% and Pakistan's by 65%.

Literacy

India closing literacy rate gap with Brazil, South Korea

In 1980, India's literacy rate was 40.8%, 53 percentage points lower than South Korea, 29 lower than Malaysia, and 34 lower than Brazil.

In 2015, India's literacy rate stands at 71%, 27 percentage points lower than South Korea, 24 lower than Malaysia and 22 lower than Brazil.

The literacy rate gap between India, China and Pakistan has remained similar, indicating steady progress.

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