Vietnam’s Rise in Human Development Index: Climbing Eight Places

Vietnam, despite being a low-middle income country, has achieved a remarkable feat by securing a position among the highly developed nations with a high Human Development Index (HDI). The country has seen a significant leap in the HDI rankings, moving up five places from 2015 to 2021. In the latest assessment, Vietnam has made an impressive jump of eight spots, now occupying the 107th position.


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) congratulated Vietnam on its significant achievements in human development, according to a report by VNA on Friday.

The UNDP launched the 2023/24 Human Development Report entitled “Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a Polarized World” at the UN headquarters in New York on March 13, local time.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner (L) meets with Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang prior to the launch of the 2023/24 Human Development Report in New York on March 13. Photo: VNA

At the launch event, Achim Steiner mentioned that the world has slowly recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Human Development Index (HDI) has rebounded and reached its highest level since the report’s inception in 1990.

However, Steiner expressed concern over rising uncertainties and conflicts in certain regions, particularly the widening gap in inequality and HDI between developed and developing countries.

The UNDP hopes that the new report will provide a foundation for policymakers worldwide to find appropriate directions and solutions to address challenges and continue promoting human development.

During a separate meeting with Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, the Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, Steiner commended Vietnam for its continuous achievements in human development, which contribute to the international community’s efforts in addressing global challenges and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the latest HDI rankings, Vietnam climbed eight places to the 107th position among 193 countries and territories, maintaining its status as a high HDI developing country.

The leap in rankings is the result of effective policies and strong efforts by the Party and State in facilitating economic recovery, ensuring post-pandemic social security, and creating optimal conditions for the development of Vietnamese people.

Illustrative image. Photo: VNA

Vietnam has been a member of the High Human Development Group since 2019.

The UNDP’s Human Development Report, released every two years, is compiled based on contributions from experts in UN agencies, member states, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. It analyzes human development trends and the multidimensional impacts of the global situation. The HDI is a crucial criterion for assessing a country’s development and is widely used by researchers and policymakers.

Vietnam’s global HDI value for 2021/22 remained essentially unchanged from 2019 (0.704 to 0.703), but the country climbed two spots in the global rankings, from 117 to 115.

With a people-centered approach, Vietnam has been actively protecting and improving people’s livelihoods while ensuring their rights through development. The country has been reinforcing its legal system on people’s rights with the passage of over 90 legal documents in just four years, establishing an essential legal framework to guarantee people’s rights and citizen’s rights in reality.

The people are at the heart of all socioeconomic development projects, programs, and strategies in Vietnam.

For many years, the country has maintained high economic growth, consistently reducing the multidimensional poverty rate to 4.3% in 2022, and significantly improving education, healthcare, and housing services.

Vietnam has also made progress in ensuring gender equality, with women now holding over 30% of seats in the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels. Furthermore, the country has actively promoted religious and belief life through thousands of religious and belief events every year.

Vietnam is one of the countries with the fastest-growing rate of Internet users in the world, currently with 78 million users.

During the 2023-2025 tenure at the UN Human Rights Council, Vietnam contributed significantly by proposing a resolution to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which was approved by consensus.

Hannah Nguyen