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The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to determine and indicate whether a country is a developed, developing, or underdeveloped country and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. The index was developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and has been used since 1993 by the United Nations Development Programme in its annual Human Development Report.
The HDI measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development:
- A long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth.
- Knowledge, as measured by the adult literacy rate (with two-thirds weight) and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio (with one-third weight).
- A decent standard of living, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) in USD.
Each year, UN member states are listed and ranked according to these measures. Those high on the list often advertise it (e.g., Jean Chrétien, Former Prime Minister of Canada ), as a means of attracting talented immigrants (economically, individual capital) or discouraging emigration.
An alternative measure, focusing on the amount of poverty in a country, is the Human Poverty Index.
- -index =
where and are the lowest and highest values the variable can attain, respectively.
The Human Development Index (HDI) then represents the average of the following three general indices:
- Life Expectancy Index =
- Education Index =
- Adult Literacy Index (ALI) =
- Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) =
- GDP Index =
LE: Life expectancy
ALR: Adult literacy rate
CGER: Combined gross enrollment ratio
GDPpc: GDP per capita at PPP in USD
UNDP has created a technical note on the definition of the HDI (see links below).
|0.950 and over 0.900–0.949 0.850–0.899 0.800–0.849 0.750–0.799 0.700–0.749||0.650–0.699 0.600–0.649 0.550–0.599 0.500–0.549 0.450–0.499 0.400–0.449||0.350–0.399 0.300–0.349 under 0.300 N/A|
The report for 2006 was launched in Cape Town, South Africa on November 9 2006. Its focus was on "power, poverty and the global water crisis."  Most of the data used for the report are derived largely from 2004 or earlier, thus indicating an HDI for 2004. Not all UN member states choose to or are able to provide the necessary statistics.
The report showed a stagnation in world HDI, as the continued improvement of developed countries was offset by a general decline of the developing world. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia showed an important decline in HDI, in comparison with last year's report. Other developing regions showed little to no improvement.
A HDI below 0.5 is considered to represent low development and 29 of the 31 countries in that category are located in Africa, with the exceptions of Haiti and Yemen. The bottom ten countries are all in Africa. The highest-scoring Sub-Saharan countries, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa, are ranked 120th and 121st, respectively (with a shared HDI of 0.653).
A HDI of 0.8 or more is considered to represent high development. This includes all developed countries, such as those in North America, Europe, Oceania, and Eastern Asia, as well as some developing countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula.
Top thirty countries (HDI range from 0.965 down to 0.885)
176. Template:Country data Sierra Leone
007. Template:Country data Japan
022. Template:Country data Hong Kong
142. Template:Country data Timor-Leste
150. Template:Country data Yemen
001. [[Image:Template:Country flag alias Norway|22x20px|Flag of Template:Country alias Norway]] [[Template:Country alias Norway|Template:Country shortname alias Norway]] 0.965 (
099. Template:Country data Azerbaijan
006. Template:Country data Canada
008. Template:Country data United States
003. Template:Country data Australia
036. Template:Country data Argentina
043. Template:Country data Uruguay
103. Template:Country data Guyana
115. Template:Country data Bolivia
Countries not included
The following countries or territories are not ranked in the 2006 Human Development Index, for being unable or unwilling to provide the necessary data, or for not being recognised as states by the United Nations.
Past top countries
The number one ranked country in each year of the index.
- Freedom House
- Gini coefficient
- Gross national happiness
- List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita
- List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita
- List of countries by Human Development Index
- List of countries by income equality
- Physical quality-of-life index
- United Nations
- Happy Planet Index
- First World
- Second World
- Third World
- Fourth World
- Visa Waiver Program
Lists of countries with rankings
Area · Coastline · Highest point · Lowest point · Compactness · Coast/area ratio · Northernmost point · Southernmost point · Continent
Population (graphical • by density) · Population growth rate · Life expectancy · Infant mortality rate · Fertility rate · Birth rate · Death rate · List of countries by sex ratio · Homicide rate · Human Development Index · Income equality · Literacy rate · HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate · Unemployment rate · Employment rate · Population living in poverty · Poverty Index · Immigrant population · Suicide rate · Undernourishment rate · Firearm-related death rate · Gun ownership
Current account balance · Foreign exchange reserves · Imports · Number of internet users · Number of telephone lines · Exports (per capita) · Debt (External, Public) · Consumption (Electricity, Natural gas, Electricity Intensity) · Production (Natural gas production by country, Natural gas proven reserves, Oil proven reserves, Automobile production, Steel production, Aluminium production)
Heads of state and government · Political rights and civil liberties · Press freedom · Privacy · Perception of corruption · Bribe paying · Property rights · Economic freedom · Democracy · Globalization · Ease of doing business · Economic competitiveness · Date of formation · Legal drinking age · School leaving age · Abortion law · Homosexuality laws · Death penalty · Quality-of-life · E-readiness · Failed States index · Travel Freedom · Student Performance ·
Military expenditures · Number of active troops · Possession of nuclear weapons · UN peacekeepers currently deployed · Global Peace Index
Carbon dioxide emissions (per capita) · Greenhouse gas emissions per capita · GDP per emissions · Sustainability · Environmental Performance · Happy Planet Index
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