Asia-Pacific to comprise two-thirds of global middle class by 2030, Report says

18 Mar 2013

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2013 Human Development Report says Asian countries including Indonesia are at forefront of ‘Rise of the South’ but they must address ageing, environment, inequality to sustain current progress

Jakarta, 18 March 2013 The rapid human development progress of Indonesia, China, Thailand and many other nations of East Asia and the Pacific is helping drive a historic shift in global dynamics, with hundreds of millions of people lifted from poverty and billions more poised to join the South’s fast-growing middle class, according to the 2013 Human Development Report, which is being launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here today.

The 2013 Human Development Report—The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World—analyses more than
40 developing countries that have made striking human development gains in recent years. The Report  attributes their achievements to strong national commitments to better public health and education services, innovative poverty eradication programs and strategic engagement with the world economy. 

“The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” it says.

By 2030, the Report projects, more than 80 percent of the world’s middle class will reside in the South. The Asia-Pacific region will be home to about two-thirds of the new global middle class, with billions of people becoming increasingly educated, socially engaged and internationally connected, though at significantly lower income levels than their counterparts in the middle class of the industrialized North.

"Indonesia has shown strong progress in each of the Human Development Index indicators in the past 40 years. Between 1980 and 2012, Indonesia’s HDI value increased from 0.422 to 0.629, or an increase of 49 percent. Within the same period,  Indonesia’s life expectancy increased by 11 years, from 57.6 years to its current 69.8. years of age. Expected years of school increased by four years, from 8.3 in 1980 to 12.9 years on 2012. GNI per capita increased from $1,278 to $4,154."

“Emerging powers in the developing world are already sources of innovative social and economic policies and are major trade, investment and increasingly development cooperation partners for other developing countries,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark says in the Report’s foreword.

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