Human Development Index

Image:HDImap2006.png
World map indicating Human Development Index (2006).

 ██ high (0.800 - 1) ██ medium (0.500 - 0.799) ██ low (0.300 - 0.499) ██ n/a

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, developing, or under developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life.<ref>Davies, A. and G. Quinlivan (2006), A Panel Data Analysis of the Impact of Trade on Human Development, Journal of Socioeconomics</ref> 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:

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 [1]), 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.

Methodology

In general to transform a raw variable, say $x$, into a unit-free index between 0 and 1 (which allows different indices to be added together), the following formula is used:

• $x$-index = $\frac{x - \min\left(x\right)} {\max\left(x\right)-\min\left(x\right)}$

where $\min\left(x\right)$ and $\max\left(x\right)$ are the lowest and highest values the variable $x$ can attain, respectively.

The Human Development Index (HDI) then represents the average of the following three general indices:

• Life Expectancy Index (LEI) = $\frac{LE - 25} {85-25}$
• Education Index (EI) = $\frac{2} {3} \times ALI + \frac{1} {3} \times GEI$
• Adult Literacy Index (ALI) = $\frac{ALR - 0} {100 - 0}$
• GDP Index (GI) = $\frac{\log\left(GDPpc\right) - \log\left(100\right)} {\log\left(40000\right) - \log\left(100\right)}$

Therefore:

HDI = $\frac{1} {3} \times (LEI) + \frac{1} {3} \times (EI) + \frac{1} {3} \times (GI)$

LE: Life expectancy
CGEI: Combined gross enrolment index
GDPpc: GDP per capita at PPP in USD

2006 report

Image:HDImap spectrum2006.png
Coloured world map indicating Human Development Index (2006) </td>
 ██ over 0.95 ██ 0.90-0.949 ██ 0.85-0.899 ██ 0.80-0.849 ██ 0.75-0.799 ██ 0.70-0.749 ██ 0.65-0.699 ██ 0.60-0.649 ██ 0.55-0.599 ██ 0.50-0.549 ██ 0.45-0.499 ██ 0.40-0.449 ██ 0.35-0.399 ██ 0.30-0.349 ██ under 0.30 ██ 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." [2] 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, due to a continued improvement of developed countries, averaged with 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.

An 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).

An HDI 0.8 or more is considered to represent high development. This includes all developed countries and some developing countries in mainly Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and oil-rich Arabian Peninsula. All member states of the European Union (as well as the acceding countries, Romania and Bulgaria) are included in this category.

Top/bottom three countries by region

 Africa Asia 007. Image:Flag of Japan (bordered).svg Japan (↑ 4) 022. Image:Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong (SAR) (=) 023. Image:Flag of Israel (bordered).svg Israel (=) ... 138. Image:Flag of Nepal.svg Nepal (↓ 2) 142. Image:Flag of East Timor.svg East Timor (↓ 2) 150. Image:Flag of Yemen.svg Yemen (↑ 1) Europe 001. Image:Flag of Norway.svg Norway (=) 002. Image:Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland (=) 004. Image:Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland (↑ 4) ... 097. Image:Flag of Georgia (bordered).svg Georgia (↑ 3) 099. Image:Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijan (↑ 2) 114. Image:Flag of Moldova.svg Moldova (↑ 1) North America 006. Image:Flag of Canada.svg Canada (↓ 1) 008. Image:Flag of the United States.svg United States (↑ 2) 031. Image:Flag of Barbados.svg Barbados (↓ 1) ... 117. Image:Flag of Honduras.svg Honduras (↓ 1) 118. Image:Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala (↓ 1) 154. Image:Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti (↓ 1) Oceania South America 036. Image:Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina (↓ 2) 038. Image:Flag of Chile (bordered).svg Chile (↓ 1) 043. Image:Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay (↑ 3) ... 091. Image:Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay (↓ 3) 103. Image:Flag of Guyana.svg Guyana (↑ 4) 115. Image:Flag of Bolivia.svg Bolivia (↓ 2)

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 recognized as states by the United Nations.

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