What is HDI


Overall, the world has a mean HDI of 0.74. The highly developed OECD countries have an overall HDI of 0.92, the developing and emerging countries 0.69 and Sub-Saharan Africa 0.5.

Human Development Index by Selected Countries, 2005 License: cc by-nc-nd / 2.0 / de (bpb)

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    The "Human Development Index (HDI)" is a measure of a country's level of development and is made up of three components: life expectancy, education and purchasing power. However, the social disparities and income differences that exist in the countries are largely not taken into account, and the HDI does not differentiate between cities and rural areas. The "Human Development Report" is published annually by the United Nations (UNDP).

    Overall, the world has a mean HDI of 0.74. The highly developed OECD countries have an overall HDI of 0.92 and the developing and emerging countries 0.69. Of the 177 countries recorded, 70 show a high HDI (0.8 to 1.0), 84 a medium (0.5 to 0.8) and 22 a low HDI (below 0.5). As expected, the level of development is highest in the economically strong OECD countries (0.9), followed by Eastern Europe, Latin America and East Asia (0.8), the Arab countries (0.7), South Asia (0.6) and Sub-Saharan Africa (0.5). These are regional mean values, although there is of course also a considerable range among the countries in a region.

    There are a total of 70 countries with a "high HDI", with Iceland (1st place), Norway (2nd) and Australia (3rd) at the top. This is followed by: France (10), USA (12), Hong Kong (21), Germany (22), Israel (23), Bulgaria (53), Oman (58) and Russia (67). The bottom of this group is Brazil (70). Not only the rich OECD countries have a relatively high HDI, but also many Eastern European, Arab and Latin American countries, although the gap to the top group is clear. In the Far East, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are among the countries with a high HDI.

    A total of 85 countries have a "medium HDI", including Kazakhstan (73rd place), Venezuela (74th), China (81), Turkey (84), Algeria (104), Indonesia (107), Egypt (112), South Africa (121st) ), India (128) and Bangladesh (140). Uganda (154) and Gambia (155) form the end of this group. It is interesting that China (HDI 0.8) is already in the middle of this group, while India (HDI 0.6) is almost 50 places below, i.e. is much worse positioned. According to the HDI rating, Turkey is also a few places behind China.

    22 exclusively African countries such as Senegal (156th place), Eritrea (157), Nigeria (158), Rwanda (161), Zambia (165), Ethiopia (169) and Mali (173) have a "low HDI". At the bottom are Burkina Faso (176) and Sierra Leone (177).

    Looking at individual regions, the following picture emerges: In Europe, Iceland, Norway and Ireland are ahead (> 0.9), Ukraine and Moldova are at the bottom (< 0,8).="" in="" asien="" und="" pazifik="" führen="" australien,="" japan="" und="" neuseeland="" die="" liste="" an="" (=""> 0.9), at the end are Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Yemen (< 0,5).="" in="" nord-="" und="" südamerika="" liegen="" kanada="" und="" die="" usa="" weit="" vorn="" (=""> 0.9), while Bolivia, Guatemala and Haiti are at the bottom (< 0,7).="" in="" afrika="" haben="" die="" seychellen,="" libyen="" und="" mauritius="" den="" höchsten="" (=""> 0.8) and Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone (< 0,4)="" den="" niedrigsten="" hdi.="">

    Comparing the data from 2000/05, there are countries with an upward and downward trend. Not only the rich, but also most of the poor countries have improved their HDI in recent years. In Germany the HDI rose from 0.93 to 0.94 and in China from 0.73 to 0.78. So global human development seems to be looking up, but at the same time there are also some relegations such as South Africa, Ghana and Chad.


    The "Human Development Index" (HDI) combines several indicators, 1.0 being the highest achievable value. These indicators are: life expectancy, education and GDP (gross domestic product). The following are recorded in detail: life expectancy at birth, literacy of the adult population, school enrollment rate in elementary, secondary and higher education, gross domestic product per capita. In addition, the Human Development Report published annually by UNDP contains a large amount of additional data from the economic, social and political areas.


    Human Development Index (HDI)
    Human Development Index by Region, 2005

    OECD countries0,92
    Developing countries0,69
    Latin America and the Caribbean0,80
    East Asia and the Pacific0,77
    Arabic countries0,70
    South asia0,61
    Africa (south of the Sahara)0,49

    Human Development Index (HDI)
    "Human Development" Index by country, 2005 (first 10 and last 3 places in each group)

    high HDI (0.8 to 1.0)
    1. Iceland, 2. Norway, 3. Australia, 4. Canada, 5. Ireland, 6. Sweden, 7. Switzerland, 8. Japan, 9. Netherlands, 10. France, ... 68. Albania, 69. Macedonia , 70. Brazil.

    medium HDI (0.5 to 0.8)
    71. Dominika, 72. St. Lucia, 73. Kazakhstan, 74. Venezuela, 75. Colombia, 76. Ukraine, 77. Samoa, 78. Thailand, 79. Dominican Republic, 80. Belize, ... 153. Yemen, 154. Uganda, 155. Gambia.

    low HDI (less than 0.5)
    156. Senegal; 157. Eritrea; 158. Nigeria, 159. Tanzania, 160. Guinea, 161. Rwanda, 162. Angola, 163. Benin, 164. Malawi, 165. Zambia, ... 175. Guinea Bissau, 176. Burkina Faso, 177. Sierra Leone

    UNDP: Human Development Report 2007/08 / Human Development Index Rankings


    World Development Indicators 2007

    Human Development Trends 2004

    Gapminder - Human Development Trends 2005

    Wikipedia - Human Development Index

    Author: Prof. Dr. Eckhart Ribbeck