Tamil Nadu has improved its position in terms of human development index (HDI) and has entered the category of the top five states in the country, according to the Handbook on Social Welfare Statistics-2007, released recently by the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment. Maharashtra, however, has slipped from rank 3 to 4, but, in value terms of the HDI, the state has improved from 0.363 in 1981 to 0.452 in 1991 to 0.523 in 2001.
All the top five states in HDI in 2001 -- Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana -- recorded a gradual improvement in their position in value terms. However, Gujarat, which ranked 4th in 1981, slipped to the 6th position in 1991 and 2001 despite an improvement in its value terms.
Among the poorest performing states, Bihar was the lowest among 15 states, followed by Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. In fact, Assam joined the rank of the lowest five in HDI in 2001 after declining from rank 10 in 1981 and 1991. Uttar Pradesh which ranked 13 in 1981 declined to 14 in 1991 and regained its earlier position in 2001. Similarly, Orissa regained its 11th position after sliding to rank 12 in 1991.
However, newer problems face many high-ranking HDI states as growing urbanisation is leading to large-scale migration and slum growth, the handbook notes. The total slum population in different urban centres across the country is 16,565,459. In the five cities of Maharashtra, Mumbai and Greater Mumbai have a slum population of 48.88% amounting to 5,823,510 people. Pune has a slum population of 20.92% amounting to 531,337 people. Nagpur 35.42% amounting to 726,664, Thane 33.32% amounting to 420,272 and Nashik 13.21% amounting to 142,234.
In Tamil Nadu, Chennai has a slum population of 17.74% amounting to 747,936, while Ahmedabad in Gujarat has a slum population of 12.51% amounting to 439,843. The Capital, Delhi, has a slum population of 18.89%.
On other human development indicators, Uttar Pradesh had the highest registered maternal mortality rate per 1,00,000 births at 539, followed by Rajasthan at 501, Orissa at 424, Madhya Pradesh at 407, Bihar at 400 and Assam at 398.
As for literacay, Kerala retained top position at 90.86%, followed by Mizoram with 88.80%, Lakshadweep 86.66%, Goa with 82.01%, Chandigarh with 81.94%, Delhi with 81.67%, Andaman & Nicobar Islands with 81.30% and Puducherry with 81.24%.