List of countries by Human Development Index

World map
World map representing Human Development Index categories (based on 2019 data, published in 2020)
  •   Very high (≥ 0.800)
  •   High (0.700–0.799)
  •   Medium (0.550–0.699)
  •   Low (≤ 0.549)
  •   Data unavailable
World map
World map of countries or territories by Human Development Index scores in increments of 0.050 (based on 2019 data, published in 2020)
  •   ≥ 0.900
  •   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
  •   ≤ 0.399
  •   Data unavailable

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compiles the Human Development Index (HDI) of 189 nations in the annual Human Development Report. The index considers the health, education and income in a given country to provide a measure of human development which is comparable between countries and over time.[1][2]

The HDI was first published in 1990 with the goal of being a more comprehensive measure of human development than purely economic measures such as gross domestic product. The index incorporates three dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, knowledge, and decent living standards. Various indicators are used to quantify how countries perform on each dimension. The indicators used in the 2020 report were life expectancy at birth; expected years of schooling for children; mean years of schooling for adults; and gross national income per capita. The indicators are used to create a health index, an education index and an income index, each with a value between 0 and 1. The geometric mean of the three indices—that is, the cube root of the product of the indices—is the human development index. A value above 0.800 is classified as very high, between 0.700 and 0.799 as high, 0.550 to 0.699 as medium, and below 0.550 as low.[1][3][4]

The data used to calculate HDI comes mostly from United Nations agencies and international institutions, such as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Rarely, when one of the indicators is missing, cross-country regression models are used. Due to improved data and methodology updates, HDI values are not comparable across human development reports; instead, each report recalculates the HDI for some previous years.[4][5]

The HDI is the most widely used indicator of human development and changed how people view the concept.[6][7] However, several aspects of the index have received criticism. Some scholars have criticized how the factors are weighed, in particular how an additional year of life expectancy is valued differently between countries;[7][8] and the limited factors it considers, noting the omission of factors such as the levels of distributional and gender inequality.[9][10] In response to the former, the UNDP introduced the inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI) in its 2010 report, and in response to the latter the Gender Development Index (GDI) was introduced in the 1995 report.[11][12] Others have criticized the perceived oversimplification of using a single number per country.[13][14] To reflect developmental differences within countries, a subnational HDI (SHDI) featuring data for more than 1,600 regions was introduced in 2018 by the Global Data Lab at Radboud University in the Netherlands.[14] In 2020, the UNDP introduced another index, the planetary pressures–adjusted HDI (PHDI), which decreases the scores of countries with a higher ecological footprint.[15]

  1. ^ a b "Human Development Index (HDI) | Human Development Reports". United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference 2020 components was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Human Development Report 1990 (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 1 May 1990. pp. iii, iv, 5, 9, 12. ISBN 0-1950-6481-X. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Human Development Report 2019 – Technical notes" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. pp. 2–4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Human Development Report 2020: Reader's Guide". United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  6. ^ Ivanova, I.; Arcelus, F. J.; Srinivasan, G. (February 1999). "An Assessment of the Measurement Properties of the Human Development Index". Social Indicators Research. 46 (2): 157–179. doi:10.1023/A:1006839208067. ISSN 0303-8300. Archived from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b Sanderson, Warren; Scherbov, Sergei; Simone, Ghislandi (8 November 2018). "The best country to live in might not be Norway after all". Quartz. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index". Journal of Development Economics. 99 (2): 201–209. 1 November 2012. doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.01.003. ISSN 0304-3878. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  9. ^ "The inequality-adjusted human development index: A constructive proposal". World Development. 25 (8): 1283–1298. 1 August 1997. doi:10.1016/S0305-750X(97)00034-X. ISSN 0305-750X. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  10. ^ Sharma, Shalendra D. (1 February 1997). "Making the Human Development Index (HDI) gender-sensitive". Gender & Development. 5 (1): 60–61. doi:10.1080/741922304. ISSN 1355-2074. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  11. ^ Human Development Report 2010 (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2010. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-230-28445-6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  12. ^ Human development report 1995 (PDF). Oxford University Press for the United Nations Development Programme. 1995. pp. 72–74. ISBN 0-19-510023-9. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  13. ^ Castles, Ian (1998). "The Mismeasure of Nations: A Review Essay". Population and Development Review. 24 (4): 834–836. doi:10.2307/2808029. ISSN 0098-7921. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  14. ^ a b Iñaki, Permanyer; Jeroen, Smits (31 May 2018). "The Subnational Human Development Index: Moving beyond country-level averages". United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  15. ^ Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 291–231. ISBN 978-9-211-26442-5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.

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