Human Development Index

I was fascinated when i first came across this terminology, it is a ratio of several qualitative aspects which are quantified. It really is amazing how these parameters are converted into a number which is very useful to relate.

Below is the pictorial definition provided on the UN Website http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi

The index ranges from 0 to 1 with 1 being the highest. One would get easily get confused and expect countries with a high GDP to have a high HDI but data proves otherwise. Top 10 countries mostly are from Europe and quiet surprisingly even 2 Asian countries made it at top. Below is the latest HDI data on the UN website.

CountryContinentH.D.IRank
NorwayEurope0.9531
SwitzerlandEurope0.9442
AustraliaOceania0.9393
IrelandEurope0.9384
GermanyEurope0.9365
IcelandEurope0.9356
HongKong,China(SAR)Asia0.9337
SwedenEurope0.9337
SingaporeAsia0.9329
NetherlandsEurope0.93110
2017- Top 10 countries with highest H.D.I

Now lets dice in slightly more. We have data from 1995-2017- 22 years which is more than sufficient to chalk out some inferences.

Continent19952017%AverageRank#Countries
Europe      0.75      0.8614%          0.81147
North America      0.65      0.7515%          0.71220
Oceania      0.69      0.725%          0.70311
South America      0.65      0.7516%          0.70315
Asia      0.61      0.7218%          0.67542
Africa      0.43      0.5426%          0.49654
H.D.I by Continental region

We see that there is an increase in H.D.I values from 1995 to 2017 for all regions. However there is an observable pattern, regions with lowest values seems to be growing at a higher rate. From bottom up the values are low but certainly the growth is higher. Growth here in this case also happens to be a function of countries in a particular region for instance Oceania has only 11 countries and hence we see only 5% growth but South America which is close with 15 countries seems to be doing a lot better with 16% growth.

There are countries which have made a significant improvement in their economy, lifestyle, education, life expectancy and health care. It is a very good sign to see them growing especially all of them being African countries it is worth an applaud from where they have picked up and risen. There is huge potential for growth and they for sure will be looking still better in next two decades.

Country19952017% Growth
Rwanda0.2340.524124%
Mozambique0.2290.43791%
Mali0.2620.42763%
Uganda0.3210.51661%
Guinea0.2950.45956%
Countries who made a significant improvement

While there are a couple of countries from the pool which did not make any improvements .Libya is still better off without any improvement but still maintaining a good H.D.I value but conflicts and terrorism has made Syria lose on human index values which greatly defines people trying to flee this country and seeking refuge in better regions.

Country19952017%
Libya0.7040.7060%
Syrian Arab Republic0.5790.536-7%
Countries with no growth and negative growth

Inference- A quantifiable number can let people know which country is best to live and which country is to be improved upon. In this case we see until 2017 if you live in Norway you are leading the best lives compared to rest of the world while not so likely with Syria.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply