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South Asia suffers most from air pollution – World Bank

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South Asia suffers the most among all regions of the world in terms of loss of human capital due to air pollution, according to the latest The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021 report published by the World Bank.

The latest edition of this periodic report has measured wealth creation and distribution in 146 countries covering a 20-year period from 1995-2018.

The World Bank included gross domestic product, human-produced capital, human capital and natural capital like renewable and non-renewable natural resources in its measurement of wealth. The Bank defines human capital as “earnings over a person’s lifetime.”

Human capital was “the largest source of worldwide wealth, comprising 64 per cent of total global wealth in 2018,” the report said. “Middle-income countries increased their investment in human capital and in turn, saw significant increases in their share of global human capital wealth,” the report said.

South Asia has increased its wealth since 1995. But still, its per capita wealth is among the lowest in the world, comparable to sub-Saharan Africa. “Due to population growth in the same time period, per capita wealth remains among the lowest in the world,” the report said. Over 80 per cent of the region’s wealth was attributed to men, indicating a huge gender disparity in human capital and its contribution to national wealth. The report said globally, wealth had increased during the two decades. In fact, middle-income countries were catching up fast with high-income ones in wealth generation. (DTE)

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