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The Human Development Index

Updated on October 13, 2014
HDI
HDI
The Human Development Index
The Human Development Index

The HDI

The Human Development Index ranks the countries of the world in terms of its human development. The Human Development Index implies whether a country is developed, developing or underdeveloped. The Human Development Index sets a standard means of measuring human development and sets levels of options of person for personal achievement. The Human Development Index is published by the United Nations Development Programme and is the centerpiece of the UN’s Human Development Report. The Human Development Index was created as an alternative to the common practice to rank human development solely on a country’s gross domestic product.

First published in 1990 under Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, the goal of the Human Development Report and the Human Development Index was to accurately measure whether people are better off in terms of health, freedom, education and other aspects of life not measured by gross GDP. The originators stated: “People are the real wealth of a nation. The basic objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives. This may appear to be a simple truth. But it is often forgotten in the immediate concern with the accumulation of commodities and financial wealth.”

 

The HDI looks at different factors including health and education to rank the most developed nations.
The HDI looks at different factors including health and education to rank the most developed nations.

The Formula

In order to rank whether a certain country is developed, developing, or underdeveloped, the Human Development Index looks at a number of different factors.  The Index measures life expetency, literacy, education, and GDP for countriers worldwide.  These variables are then put into a mathematical algoryth which measures the potentioal and real developmenet of any given nation.

 

Iceland Was Considered The Most Developed Country In 2008.
Iceland Was Considered The Most Developed Country In 2008.

The 2008 Report.

The last time the report of the Human Development Index were released in 2009, Iceland, Norway and Canada were considered the three most developed countries in the world.  The United States was seen to be the 15th most developed nation, falling three places since the last time the study was conducted.  Sierra Lione was considered the least developed nation of the 178 studied.  Many nations do not cooperate with the study and are therefore not listed.

 

Many Believe The HDI Does Not Provide A Complete Picture Of A Country's Development
Many Believe The HDI Does Not Provide A Complete Picture Of A Country's Development

Criticisms

The Human Development Index is highly criticized.  Many criticize the failure of the index to include any ecological considerations and have lost touch with its original purpose. It is highly criticized for being redundant and adding very little to the development of countries. 

Other criticisms include that the Human Development Index does not look at enough factors to truly gage the level of happiness an individual feels in a certain country.  Critics claim to measure true happiness the formula must include physical, biological, mental, emotional, social, educational, economic, and cultural components. However, the Human Development Index only looks at life expectancy, adult literacy and education.  It leaves our much of the cultural components that make up a society. 

Comments

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    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading

    • profile image

      aditi 

      6 years ago

      really interesting articles. I show this to my school student.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading Jes22

    • profile image

      jes22 

      6 years ago

      GOOD INFO

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Well considering this is an article on the HDI in general and not specific to Canada, not sure you searched it right. But best of luck.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      kellie craggs 

      6 years ago

      erm, i came to this website hopig to find some decnet information about canada on the human development index, i didn't fin it, so therefore in my opinion your website wasn't usefull to me in any way possible!

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Izzy,

      America's healtchare system needs a lot of tweaking, but it is good information to have.

      Thanks for reading.

    • izzy valentine profile image

      izzy valentine 

      8 years ago from Houston, TX

      Really interesting! I took a Human Geography class and learned all about this (the most interesting class I've ever taken, I must say). And I believe, myself being a Canadian (which represents my political and social views on a general scale), that it is fairly accurate on the whole. And I think it goes to show America's healthcare system needs a little tweaking, I'd say.

      Whether one agrees with the accuracy of the HDI, it's still great info to have. Thanks!

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I agree, thanks for the comment.

    • Bozewani profile image

      Bozewani 

      9 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      It is a rather accurate measurement which takes into account multiple factors and is on the whole unbiased and quite transparent..

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Dame,

      Either that or they don't share information. Either way, not a place I would want to go.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Makes one wonder if the ones not participating are ashamed of their countries? :) great info.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      If the human race is a race, those in the dark green are the winners?

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks James.

      I could venture a guess but would love to hear your take.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Interesting article, bg. I appreciate the explanation of the index. Care to hazard a guess why those dark green areas are dark green?

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Saytem, agreed. Thanks for the comment.

      elb.

      Actually the rating went down based on Healthcare.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • elb22 profile image

      elb22 

      9 years ago from California

      i wonder if they consider factors like how much crap you buy from IKEA or how many ethanol cars you have or maybe it's how socialist your country is after all it is socialists making the list...its like a vegan food critic from san francisco eating in houston....one contradiction eating another. your rating probably goes down corresponding to the larger amount of military and world conflict you are involved in. Surprised switzerland isn't at the top!

    • profile image

      Satyam7 

      9 years ago

      Very interesting article. It takes more than life expectancy to judge Human Development for a country.

      Thank you.

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