Despite gains, development lags
Between the years of 1990 and 2015, Cambodia saw the region’s highest rate of improvement in the UN’s Human Development Index, a metric that tracks wellbeing, though the country’s overall score remains well below the average for countries in East Asia and the Pacific, a new report from the UN Development Programme shows. The Kingdom has seen improvements in health, education and overall living standards since the index was first measured, the report says, though the country’s overall HDI ranking in 2015 was still 143 out of 188 countries. That spot placed Cambodia among the medium development group, along with fellow ASEAN states Laos (138) and Myanmar (145). In the 25 years studied, Cambodia’s HDI value – a composite figure meant to represent measures such as life expectancy, education and incomes – increased by 57 percent, to 0.563. On average, however, it still lags behind the medium development group’s average HDI of 0.631, and the regional average of 0.721.