South East Asia

Highlights from the State of the Tropics Report relating to South East Asia:

  • Since 1981, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell by almost 65% to 95 million, or almost 175 million fewer people.
  • Life expectancy has increased from 45 years in 1950-55 to 71 in 2005-2010, only two years less than in the non-tropical world.
  • The Under-5 mortality rate dropped from 227 per 1000 live births to 32 over the same period. This compares with 80 across the whole of the tropics and a worldwide rate of 59.
  • Mean years of schooling have increased from four years in 1980 to seven years in 2010 and tertiary enrolments have risen from 1563 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 2476 in 2010.
  • Adult literacy is now at 94% and youth literacy 98% compared with 84% and 90% worldwide.
  • Gross Domestic Product per capita has jumped from $1620 in 1980 to $5680 in 2010 *Measured at purchasing prices parity in constant 2005 international dollars.
  • In the 10 years to 2010, South East Asia and South Asia accounted for 17.1% of global economic growth.
  • Government policies in the region generally have increasingly opened national economies to foreign investment and encouraged the development of trading partnerships over the past 30 years.
  • Between 1980 and 2010, electricity generation increased by almost 1000% from 106 billion kilowatt hours to 1140 billion kilowatt hours. Most of this increase occurred in tropical China.
  • In 1950, aquaculture production was 123,000 tonnes and by 2010 this had increased to 16 million tonnes.
  • The region accounted for almost one-third of growth in the urban population in the Tropics since 1980, with the number of urban dwellers increasing from 110 million to 360 million in 2010. Tropical China has been a major contributor to this growth, with its urban population increasing from around 14 million to 90 million people.
  • Mobile phone subscriptions have gone from 0.2% of the total population in 1993 to 85% in 2010.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from the region are increasing rapidly but are small relative to the contribution from the Rest of the World, particularly on a per capita basis.
  • The region’s CO2 emissions have risen from 30 million tonnes in 1950 to more than 2000 million tonnes in 2008, making up more than 40% of the Tropics’ emissions.
  • SE Asia has the highest pollution discharge in its rivers in the world and the greatest area of land degradation at 53%. Major causes are deforestation and poor agricultural practices.

South East Asia

Nations in the region: Brunei, Cambodia, tropical China (comprising 7.9% of population with Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan in the Tropics), China (Hong Kong SAR), China (Macau SAR), Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (90.8% of population is in Tropics), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

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