What is the Human Development Index?


Since 1990, the United Nations has created and compiled the Human Development Index (HDI) as a statistic to assess. The levels of social and economic development in various nations. It consists of the average number of years spent in school, the projected number of years spent in school. The average age at birth, and the gross national income (GNI) per person.

What is Human Development Index?

The HDI was created to focus on people—or, more specifically, on their possibilities to realize fulfilling careers and lifestyles. In addition to typical economic growth data like GDP. Assessing a country’s capacity for individual human development offers an additional criterion for assessing its level of development.

When two countries, for instance, have almost the same GNI per capita but have vastly different results in terms of human development. The HDI can be used to assess the numerous policy decisions made by those countries. Supporters of the HDI hope that it can be utilized to spark such fruitful public policy discussion.

Human Development Index (Photo from istock)

  • The United Nations uses a measurement system called the Human Development Index (HDI) to assess each nation’s degree of individual human development.
  • In 1990, the UN first made it official.
  • The HDI was established to highlight the fact that. Instead of relying solely on economic growth to gauge a nation’s development. Consideration should be given to its citizens and their potential.
  • In order to evaluate and compare nations. The HDI takes into account factors including average annual income and educational expectations.
  • Both social activists and economists have criticized the HDI for offering little more information. Beyond straightforward measures of the economic standard of living. The HDI has been accused of not representing a comprehensive enough measure of quality of life.

How is Human Development Index measured?

The HDI is an overview metric of fundamental human development achievement levels. The calculated HDI of a nation is the average of indices for each of the life factors considered. Knowledge and understanding, living a long and healthy life. And having a living level that is considered to be acceptable. Following the normalization of each component to a scale between 0 and 1, the geometric mean of the three components is determined.

  • The life expectancy calculated at birth in each country is used to generate the HDI’s health component. This component is normalized so that it equals 0 when the life expectancy is 20 and 1 when it is 85.
  • A child’s predicted years of schooling at the typical age for commencing school and the mean years of schooling for citizens of a country are used to quantify education on two different levels. A simple mean of the two is calculated after each of these is normalized so that the 15 mean years of education and the 18 years of expected education are equal to 1.
  • GNI per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP), a popular metric used to indicate average income, has been selected as the economic metric to describe the standard of life. When the GNI per capita is $75,000, the standard of life is normalised to be equal to 1, and when it is $100, it is equal to 0.
  • By calculating the cube root of the product of the normalised component values, the final HDI score for each nation is computed as a geometric mean of the three components.

Drawbacks of HDI

The HDI has drawn criticism. It is a condensed and admittedly incomplete assessment of human progress. The HDI does not directly reflect aspects of quality of life, such as movements for female empowerment or a general sense of security. The U.N. Human Development Report Office (HDRO) provides additional composite indices to assess various aspects of life, including inequality issues like gender disparity or racial inequality, in acknowledgement of these facts.

assessing these and other aspects, such as the nation’s pace of economic growth, the expansion of employment possibilities, and the accomplishment of measures aimed to improve the general quality of life within a country, is best done in conjunction with assessing a country’s HDI.

Given the strong connections between the HDI, its components, and more straightforward measures of income per capita. Many economists claim that the HDI is virtually redundant. Both in terms of values and ranks, the GNI per capita (or even GDP per capita) strongly correlates with both the overall HDI and the other two components. According to them, it would be simpler and clearer to compare per-capita GNI across nations given these strong and consistent connections than to spend time and money gathering data for additional components that offer little to no new information to the overall index.

Indication in HDI

The four elements that make up the Human growth Index (HDI)—mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling, life expectancy at birth. And Gross National Income (GNI) per capita—measure each nation’s social and economic growth.

Does a high HDI mean Good or Bad?

The HDI should be as high as possible. A high HDI basically indicates that the nation in question provides a high standard of living, with respectable healthcare, education, and employment possibilities.

Which are the highest HDI countries?

Human Development Index (Photo from istock)

Switzerland came out on top in the most recent HDI ranking from 2022 with an HDI score of 0.962. The top five was completed by Australia, Hong Kong, Norway, and Iceland. With an HDI score of 0.921, the US was only rated twenty-first.


The Human Development Index (HDI), developed by the United Nations. Aims to measure a nation’s prosperity in terms of both economic and non-economic elements. The length of life expectancy and level of education are non-economic determinants. Gross national income (GNI) per capita is used to gauge economic parameters. The U.N. claims that the HDI advances our knowledge of global relative well-being. Although economists have criticized the index as being excessively simplistic and methodology-defective.


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