Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic (composite index) of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the GDP per capita is higher. The HDI was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian economist Amartya Sen which was further used to measure the country's development by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).[1][2]

The 2010 Human Development Report introduced an Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI). While the simple HDI remains useful, it stated that "the IHDI is the actual level of human development (accounting for inequality)", and "the HDI can be viewed as an index of 'potential' human development (or the maximum IHDI that could be achieved if there were no inequality)".

The index is based on the human development approach, developed by Ul Haq, often framed in terms of whether people are able to "be" and "do" desirable things in life. Examples include—Being: well fed, sheltered, healthy; Doings: work, education, voting, participating in community life. It must also be noted that the freedom of choice is central—someone choosing to be hungry (as during a religious fast) is quite different to someone who is hungry because they cannot afford to buy food.[3]

Origins

The origins of the HDI are found in the annual Human Development Reports produced by the Human Development Reports Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These were devised and launched by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990, and had the explicit purpose "to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people-centered policies". To produce the Human Development Reports, Mahbub ul Haq formed a group of development economists including Paul Streeten, Frances Stewart, Gustav Ranis, Keith Griffin, Sudhir Anand, and Meghnad Desai. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen utilized Haq's work in his own work on human capabilities.[2] Haq believed that a simple composite measure of human development was needed to convince the public, academics, and politicians that they can and should evaluate development not only by economic advances but also improvements in human well-being.

Dimensions and calculation

New method (2010 Index onwards)

Published on 4 November 2010 (and updated on 10 June 2011), the 2010 Human Development Index (HDI) combines three dimensions:[4][5]

In its 2010 Human Development Report, the UNDP began using a new method of calculating the HDI. The following three indices are used:

1. Life Expectancy Index (LEI)

LEI is 1 when Life expectancy at birth is 85 and 0 when Life expectancy at birth is 20.

2. Education Index (EI) [6]

2.1 Mean Years of Schooling Index (MYSI) [7]
Fifteen is the projected maximum of this indicator for 2025.
2.2 Expected Years of Schooling Index (EYSI) [8]
Eighteen is equivalent to achieving a master's degree in most countries.

3. Income Index (II)

II is 1 when GNI per capita is $75,000 and 0 when GNI per capita is $100.

Finally, the HDI is the geometric mean of the previous three normalized indices:

LE: Life expectancy at birth
MYS: Mean years of schooling (i.e. years that a person aged 25 or older has spent in formal education)
EYS: Expected years of schooling (i.e. total expected years of schooling for children under 18 years of age)
GNIpc: Gross national income at purchasing power parity per capita

Old method (before 2010 Index)

The HDI combined three dimensions last used in its 2009 Report:

This methodology was used by the UNDP until their 2011 report.

The formula defining the HDI is promulgated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).[9] In general, to transform a raw variable, say , into a unit-free index between 0 and 1 (which allows different indices to be added together), the following formula is used:

where and are the lowest and highest values the variable can attain, respectively.

The Human Development Index (HDI) then represents the uniformly weighted sum with 13 contributed by each of the following factor indices:

Other organizations/companies may include other factors, such as infant mortality, which produces a different HDI.

2018 Human Development Index

It will rank 189 countries, and will be launched on 14 September 2018[10].

2016 Human Development Index

The 2016 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme was released on 21 March 2017, and calculates HDI values based on estimates for 2015. Below is the list of the "very high human development" countries:[11]

  • = increase.
  • = steady.
  • = decrease.
  • The number in parentheses represents the number of ranks the country has climbed (up or down) relative to the ranking in the 2015 report.
Rank Country or region Score
2016 estimates for 2015
[12]
Change in rank from previous year[12] 2016 estimates for 2015
[12]
Change from previous year
[12]
1 Norway0.949 0.001
2 Australia0.939 0.002
2  Switzerland0.939 0.001
4 (2) Germany0.926 0.002
5 (1) Denmark0.925 0.002
5 (6) Singapore0.925 0.013
7 (1) Netherlands0.924 0.001
8 Ireland0.923 0.003
9 (7) Iceland0.921 0.002
10 (1) Canada0.920 0.001
10 (2) United States0.920 0.002
12 Hong Kong0.917 0.001
13 (4) New Zealand0.915 0.002
14 (1) Sweden0.913 0.004
15 (1) Liechtenstein0.912 0.001
16 (4) United Kingdom0.909 0.003
17 (3) Japan0.903 0.001
18 South Korea0.901 0.002
19 Israel0.899 0.001
20 Luxembourg0.898 0.002
21 (1) France0.897 0.003
22 (1) Belgium0.896 0.001
23 Finland0.895 0.002
24 Austria0.893 0.001
25 (2) Spain0.892 0.005
26 Slovenia0.890 0.002
27 (1) Italy0.887 0.006
28 Czech Republic0.878 0.003
29 Greece0.866 0.001
30 (10) Slovakia0.865 0.020
31 (1) Estonia0.865 0.002
32 Andorra0.858 0.001
33 (1) Cyprus0.856 0.002
33 (2) Malta0.856 0.003
33 Qatar0.856 0.001
36 Poland0.855 0.003
37 Lithuania0.848 0.002
38 (4) Chile0.847 0.002
38 Saudi Arabia0.847 0.002
41 Portugal0.843 0.002
42 United Arab Emirates0.840 0.004
43 Hungary0.836 0.002
44 Latvia0.830 0.002
45 (5) Argentina0.827 0.001
45 (1) Croatia0.827 0.004
47 (1) Bahrain0.824 0.001
48 (1) Montenegro0.807 0.003
49 (1) Russia0.804 0.001
50 (1) Romania0.802 0.004
51 (1) Kuwait0.800 0.001

Inequality-adjusted HDI

The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)[13] is a "measure of the average level of human development of people in a society once inequality is taken into account".

The rankings are not relative to the HDI list above due to the exclusion of countries which are missing IHDI data (p. 206).

  1.  Norway 0.898
  2.  Iceland 0.868
  3.  Australia 0.861
  4.  Netherlands 0.861
  5.  Germany 0.859
  6.   Switzerland 0.859
  7.  Denmark 0.858
  8.  Sweden 0.851
  9.  Ireland 0.850
  10.  Finland 0.843
  11.  Canada 0.839
  12.  Slovenia 0.838
  13.  United Kingdom 0.836
  14.  Czech Republic 0.830
  15.  Luxembourg 0.827
  16.  Belgium 0.821
  17.  Austria 0.815
  18.  France 0.813
  19.  United States 0.796
  20.  Slovakia 0.793
  21.  Japan 0.791
  22.  Spain 0.791
  23.  Estonia 0.788
  24.  Malta 0.786
  25.  Italy 0.784
  26.  Israel 0.778
  27.  Poland 0.774
  28.  Hungary 0.771
  29.  Cyprus 0.762
  30.  Lithuania 0.759
  31.  Greece 0.758
  32.  Portugal 0.755
  33.  South Korea 0.753
  34.  Croatia 0.752
  35.  Latvia 0.742
  36.  Montenegro 0.736
  37.  Russia 0.725
  38.  Romania 0.714
  39.  Argentina 0.698
  40.  Chile 0.691

Countries in the top quartile of HDI ("very high human development" group) with a missing IHDI: Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Andorra, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

2015 Human Development Index

The 2015 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme was released on 14 December 2015, and calculates HDI values based on estimates for 2014. Below is the list of the "very high human development" countries:[14][15][16]

  • = increase.
  • = steady.
  • = decrease.
  • The number in brackets represents the number of ranks the country has climbed (up or down) relative to the ranking in the 2014 report.
Rank Country Score
2015 estimates for 2014
[17]
Change in rank from previous year[17] 2015 estimates for 2014
[17]
Change from previous year
[17]
1 Norway0.944 0.002
2 Australia0.935 0.002
3  Switzerland0.930 0.002
4 Denmark0.923
5 Netherlands0.922 0.002
6 Germany0.916 0.001
6 (2) Ireland0.916 0.004
8 (1) United States0.915 0.002
9 (1) Canada0.913 0.001
9 (1) New Zealand0.913 0.002
11 (2) Singapore0.912 0.003
12 Hong Kong0.910 0.002
13 Liechtenstein0.908 0.001
14 Sweden0.907 0.002
14 (1) United Kingdom0.907 0.005
16 Iceland0.899
17 South Korea0.898 0.003
18 Israel0.894 0.001
18 Macau0.894[18]
19 Luxembourg0.892 0.002
20 (1) Japan0.891 0.001
21 Belgium0.890 0.002
22 France0.888 0.001
23 Austria0.885 0.001
24 Finland0.883 0.001
25 Taiwan0.882[19]
26 Slovenia0.880 0.001
27 Spain0.876 0.002
28 Italy0.873
29 Czech Republic0.870 0.002
30 Greece0.865 0.002
31 Estonia0.861 0.002
32 Brunei0.856 0.004
33 Cyprus0.850
33 (1) Qatar0.850 0.001
34 Andorra0.845 0.001
35 (1) Slovakia0.844 0.005
36 (1) Poland0.843 0.003
37 Lithuania0.839 0.002
37 Malta0.839 0.002
39 Saudi Arabia0.837 0.001
40 Argentina0.836 0.003
41 (1) United Arab Emirates0.835 0.002
42 Chile0.832 0.002
43 Portugal0.830 0.002
44 Hungary0.828 0.003
45 Bahrain0.824 0.003
46 (1) Latvia0.819 0.003
47 (1) Croatia0.818 0.001
48 (1) Kuwait0.816
49 Montenegro0.802 0.001

Inequality-adjusted HDI

The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)[14] is a "measure of the average level of human development of people in a society once inequality is taken into account".

Note: The green arrows (), red arrows (), and blue dashes () represent changes in rank. The rankings are not relative to the HDI list above due to the exclusion of countries which are missing IHDI data (p. 216).

  1.  Norway 0.893 ()
  2.  Netherlands 0.861 ( 1)
  3.   Switzerland 0.861 ( 1)
  4.  Australia 0.858 ( 2)
  5.  Denmark 0.856 ( 3)
  6.  Germany 0.853 ( 1)
  7.  Iceland 0.846 ( 1)
  8.  Sweden 0.846 ( 1)
  9.  Ireland 0.836 ( 1)
  10.  Finland 0.834 ( 1)
  11.  Canada 0.832 ( 2)
  12.  Slovenia 0.829 ()
  13.  United Kingdom 0.829 ( 3)
  14.  Czech Republic 0.823 ( 1)
  15.  Luxembourg 0.822 ( 1)
  16.  Belgium 0.820 ( 1)
  17.  Austria 0.816 ( 4)
  18.  France 0.811 ()
  19.  Slovakia 0.791 ( 2)
  20.  Estonia 0.782 ( 4)
  21.  Japan 0.780 ( 1)
  22.  Israel 0.775 ( 3)
  23.  Spain 0.775 ( 1)
  24.  Italy 0.773 ( 1)
  25.  Hungary 0.769 ( 2)
  26.  Malta 0.767 ()
  27.  Poland 0.760 ( 2)
  28.  United States 0.760 ()
  29.  Cyprus 0.758 ( 1)
  30.  Greece 0.758 ( 5)
  31.  Lithuania 0.754 ()
  32.  South Korea 0.751 ( 1)
  33.  Portugal 0.744 ( 1)
  34.  Croatia 0.743 ( 1)
  35.  Belarus 0.741
  36.  Latvia 0.730

Countries in the top quartile of HDI ("very high human development" group) with a missing IHDI: Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Andorra, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Cuba, and Kuwait.

2014 Human Development Index

The 2014 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme was released on 24 July 2014 and calculates HDI values based on estimates for 2013. Below is the list of the "very high human development" countries or regions:[20][15][16]

  • = increase.
  • = steady.
  • = decrease.
  • The number in brackets represents the number of ranks the country or region has climbed (up or down) relative to the ranking in the 2013 report.
Rank Country or Region HDI
New 2014 estimates for 2013
[21]
Change in rank between 2014 report and 2013 report[21] New 2014 estimates for 2013
[21]
Change compared between 2014 report and 2013 report
[21]
1 Norway0.944 0.011
2 Australia0.933 0.002
3  Switzerland0.917 0.001
4 Netherlands0.915
5 United States0.914 0.002
6 Germany0.911
7 New Zealand0.910 0.002
8 Canada0.902 0.001
9 (3) Singapore0.901 0.002
10 Denmark0.900
11 (3) Ireland0.899 0.017
12 (1) Sweden0.898 0.001
13 Iceland0.895 0.002
14 United Kingdom0.892 0.002
14 Macau0.892[18]
15 Hong Kong0.891 0.002
15 (1) South Korea0.891 0.003
17 (1) Japan0.890 0.002
18 (2) Liechtenstein0.889 0.001
19 Israel0.888 0.002
20 France0.884
21 Taiwan0.882[19]
22 Austria0.881 0.001
22 Belgium0.881 0.001
22 Luxembourg0.881 0.001
23 Finland0.879
24 Slovenia0.874
25 Italy0.872
26 Spain0.869
27 Czech Republic0.861
28 Greece0.853 0.001
29 Brunei0.852
30 Qatar0.851 0.001
31 Cyprus0.845 0.003
32 Estonia0.840 0.001
33 Saudi Arabia0.836 0.003
34 (1) Lithuania0.834 0.003
34 (1) Poland0.834 0.001
35 Andorra0.830
35 (1) Slovakia0.830 0.001
36 Malta0.829 0.002
37 United Arab Emirates0.827 0.002
38 (1) Chile0.822 0.003
38 Portugal0.822
39 Hungary0.818 0.001
40 Bahrain0.815 0.002
40 Cuba0.815 0.002
41 (2) Kuwait0.814 0.001
42 Croatia0.812
43 Latvia0.810 0.002
44 Argentina0.808 0.002

Countries not included

Some countries were not included for various reasons, primarily due to the lack of necessary data. The following United Nations Member States were not included in the 2014 report:[20] North Korea, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, San Marino, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tuvalu.

Inequality-adjusted HDI

The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)[20] is a "measure of the average level of human development of people in a society once inequality is taken into account".

Note: The green arrows (), red arrows (), and blue dashes () represent changes in rank. The rankings are not relative to the HDI list above due to the exclusion of countries which are missing IHDI data (p. 168).

  1.  Norway 0.891 ()
  2.  Australia 0.860 ()
  3.  Netherlands 0.854 ( 1)
  4.   Switzerland 0.847 ( 3)
  5.  Germany 0.846 ()
  6.  Iceland 0.843 ( 2)
  7.  Sweden 0.840 ( 4)
  8.  Denmark 0.838 ( 1)
  9.  Canada 0.833 ( 4)
  10.  Ireland 0.832 ( 4)
  11.  Finland 0.830 ()
  12.  Slovenia 0.824 ( 2)
  13.  Austria 0.818 ( 1)
  14.  Luxembourg 0.814 ( 3)
  15.  Czech Republic 0.813 ( 1)
  16.  United Kingdom 0.812 ( 3)
  17.  Belgium 0.806 ( 2)
  18.  France 0.804 ()
  19.  Israel 0.793 ( 1)
  20.  Japan 0.779 (New)
  21.  Slovakia 0.778 ( 1)
  22.  Spain 0.775 ( 2)
  23.  Italy 0.768 ( 1)
  24.  Estonia 0.767 ( 1)
  25.  Greece 0.762 ( 2)
  26.  Malta 0.760 ( 3)
  27.  Hungary 0.757 ( 1)
  28.  United States 0.755 ( 12)
  29.  Poland 0.751 ( 1)
  30.  Cyprus 0.752 ( 1)
  31.  Lithuania 0.746 ( 2)
  32.  Portugal 0.739 ()
  33.  South Korea 0.736 ( 5)
  34.  Latvia 0.725 ( 1)
  35.  Croatia 0.721 ( 4)
  36.  Argentina 0.680 ( 7)
  37.  Chile 0.661 ( 4)

Countries in the top quartile of HDI ("very high human development" group) with a missing IHDI: Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Andorra, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Cuba, and Kuwait.

Past top countries

The list below displays the top-ranked country from each year of the Human Development Index. Norway has been ranked the highest thirteen times, Canada eight times, and Japan three times. Iceland has been ranked highest twice.

In each original HDI

The year represents when the report was published. In parentheses is the year for which the index was calculated.

Geographical coverage

The HDI has extended its geographical coverage: David Hastings, of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, published a report geographically extending the HDI to 230+ economies, whereas the UNDP HDI for 2009 enumerates 182 economies and coverage for the 2010 HDI dropped to 169 countries.[22][23]

Country/region specific HDI lists

Criticism

The Human Development Index has been criticized on a number of grounds, including alleged lack of consideration of technological development or contributions to the human civilization, focusing exclusively on national performance and ranking, lack of attention to development from a global perspective, measurement error of the underlying statistics, and on the UNDP's changes in formula which can lead to severe misclassification in the categorisation of 'low', 'medium', 'high' or 'very high' human development countries.[24]

Sources of data error

Economists Hendrik Wolff, Howard Chong and Maximilian Auffhammer discuss the HDI from the perspective of data error in the underlying health, education and income statistics used to construct the HDI. They identified three sources of data error which are due to (i) data updating, (ii) formula revisions and (iii) thresholds to classify a country's development status and conclude that 11%, 21% and 34% of all countries can be interpreted as currently misclassified in the development bins due to the three sources of data error, respectively. The authors suggest that the United Nations should discontinue the practice of classifying countries into development bins because: the cut-off values seem arbitrary, can provide incentives for strategic behavior in reporting official statistics, and have the potential to misguide politicians, investors, charity donors and the public who use the HDI at large.[24]

In 2010, the UNDP reacted to the criticism and updated the thresholds to classify nations as low, medium, and high human development countries. In a comment to The Economist in early January 2011, the Human Development Report Office responded[25] to a 6 January 2011 article in the magazine[26] which discusses the Wolff et al. paper. The Human Development Report Office states that they undertook a systematic revision of the methods used for the calculation of the HDI, and that the new methodology directly addresses the critique by Wolff et al. in that it generates a system for continuously updating the human-development categories whenever formula or data revisions take place.

In 2013, Salvatore Monni and Alessandro Spaventa emphasized that in the debate of GDP versus HDI, it is often forgotten that these are both external indicators that prioritize different benchmarks upon which the quantification of societal welfare can be predicated. The larger question is whether it is possible to shift the focus of policy from a battle between competing paradigms to a mechanism for eliciting information on well-being directly from the population.[27]

See also

Indices

Other

References

  1. "Human Development Index". Economic Times.
  2. 1 2 "The Human Development concept". UNDP. 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  3. 1 2 "What is Human Development". UNDP. 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  4. "Human Development Report 2010". UNDP. 4 November 2010.
  5. "Technical notes" (PDF). UNDP. 2013.
  6. "New method of calculation of Human Development Index (HDI)". India Study Channel. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  7. Mean years of schooling (of adults) (years) is a calculation of the average number of years of education received by people ages 25 and older in their lifetime based on education attainment levels of the population converted into years of schooling based on theoretical duration of each level of education attended. Source: Barro, R. J.; Lee, J.-W. (2010). "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950–2010". NBER Working Paper No. 15902.
  8. (ESYI is a calculation of the number of years a child is expected to attend school, or university, including the years spent on repetition. It is the sum of the age-specific enrollment ratios for primary, secondary, post-secondary non-tertiary and tertiary education and is calculated assuming the prevailing patterns of age-specific enrollment rates were to stay the same throughout the child's life. Expected years of schooling is capped at 18 years. (Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010). Correspondence on education indicators. March. Montreal.)
  9. Definition, Calculator, etc. at UNDP site Archived 20 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Human Development Report 2016" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "Human Development Report 2016—'Human Development for everyone'" (PDF). HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  12. "Report" (PDF). hdr.undp.org. 2016.
  13. 1 2 "Statistics" (PDF). hdr.undp.org. 2015.
  14. 1 2 The UN does not calculate the HDI of Macau. The government of Macau calculates its own HDI.Macau in Figures, 2015
  15. 1 2 Taiwan's government calculated its HDI to be 0.882, based on 2010 new methodology of UNDP. "2011中華民國人類發展指數 (HDI)" (PDF) (in Chinese). Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R.O.C. 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  16. 1 2 3 4 "Human Development Report 2015—'Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience'" (PDF). HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  17. 1 2 The UN does not calculate the HDI of Macau. The government of Macau calculates its own HDI. Macau in Figures, 2016
  18. 1 2 The UN does not recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a sovereign state. The HDI report does not include Taiwan as part of the People's Republic of China when calculating China's figures. Taiwan's government calculated its HDI to be 0.882, based on 2010 new methodology of UNDP. "2011中華民國人類發展指數 (HDI)" (PDF) (in Chinese). Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R.O.C. 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  19. 1 2 3 "Data" (PDF). hdr.undp.org. 2014.
  20. 1 2 3 4 "Human Development Report 2014—'Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience'". HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  21. Hastings, David A. (2009). "Filling Gaps in the Human Development Index". United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Working Paper WP/09/02.
  22. Hastings, David A. (2011). "A "Classic" Human Development Index with 232 Countries". HumanSecurityIndex.org. Information Note linked to data
  23. 1 2 Wolff, Hendrik; Chong, Howard; Auffhammer, Maximilian (2011). "Classification, Detection and Consequences of Data Error: Evidence from the Human Development Index". Economic Journal. 121 (553): 843–870. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02408.x.
  24. "UNDP Human Development Report Office's comments". The Economist. January 2011.
  25. "The Economist (pages 60–61 in the issue of Jan 8, 2011)". 6 January 2011.
  26. Monni, Salvatore; Spaventa, Alessandro (2013). "Beyond Gdp and HDI: Shifting the focus from Paradigms to Politics". Development. 56 (2): 227–231. doi:10.1057/dev.2013.30.
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