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What is Human Development Index (HDI)

Published on Wednesday, March 07, 2018
What is Human Development Index(HDI)
Human Development Index is used to measure Economic development. Economic growth is different from Economic development.

Difference between Economic growth & Economic Development

Economic Growth Economic Development
Economic growth refers
to an increase in the real
output of goods and
Services in the country.
Economic development implies
changes in income, savings and
investment along with
progressive changes in socioeconomic
structure of country
Growth relates to a
gradual increase in one of
the components of Gross
Domestic Product:
consumption, government
spending, investment, net
Development relates to growth
of human capital, decrease in
inequality figures, and structural
changes that improve the quality
of life of the population
Economic Growth is
measured by quantitative
factors such as increase in
real GDP or per capita
The qualitative measures such as HDI
Human poverty index (HPI),
Infant mortality, literacy rate etc.
are used to measure economic
Economic growth reflects
the growth of national or
per capita income
Economic development reflects
Progress in the quality of life in a country.
Generally, economic growth is measured in terms of real Percapita income.

Economic Development is measured by using

1. Human Development Index
2. Gross National Happiness Index
3. United Nations world Happiness Index

Human Development Index:

Every year Human Development Index is released by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The HDI is a measure for assessing progress in three basic dimensions of human development:
1. a long and healthy life- Life expectancy
2. access to knowledge- Education
3. Access to a decent standard of living- Real Percapita income

The Education component of the HDI is measured by two other indicators— 

Mean of years of schooling (for adults aged 25 years)
Expected years of schooling (for children of school entering age)

HDI and India:

Present rank of India in HDI- 131

  • India slipped its rank from 130 to 131 among the 188 countries ranked in terms of human development, 
  • India’s human development index (HDI) value of 0.624 
  • India puts it in the “medium human development” category, 
  • India’s score in Human Development Index falls 27 % due to regional disparities in education, health parameters and living standards within the country. 
  • Life expectancy at Birth in India is 68.3 years — 69.9 years for women and 66.9 years for men. 
  • India’s expected years of schooling is 11.7 years, and mean years of schooling is 6.3 years 
  • India’s Gross National Income (has risen from $5,497 to $5,663 

HDI in Global Context:

  • The world’s top three countries in HDI are 
  • First rank- Norway (0.949) 
  • Second rank- Australia (0.939) and 
  • Third rank- Switzerland (0.939). 
  • The report says that across world 1.5 billion people live in multidimensional poverty. Out of 1.5 billion 54% of them concentrated in South Asia. 

India & SAARC

  • India is ranked third among the SAARC countries, 
  • First two are Sri Lanka (73) and the Maldives (105), both of which figure in the “high human development” category. 
  • Across world on an average Women have lower HDI than men across the world 
  • Largest gender disparity in development was found in South Asia 

Gross National Happiness:

Bhutan, a small Himalayan kingdom developed a new concept of assessing development in the early 1970s known as the Gross National Happiness (GNH).
Bhutan has been following up the GNH since 1972 which has the following parameters to attain happiness/development:
  • Higher real per capita income 
  • Good governance 
  • Environmental protection 
  • Cultural promotion (i.e., inculcation of ethical and spiritual values in life without which, it says, progress may become a curse rather than a blessing) 

UN’s World Happiness Index

The Happiness report ranks nations on the basis of six key factors:
(i) GDP per capita,
(ii) Healthy life expectancy,
(iii) Someone to count on,
(iv) Perceived freedom to make life choices,
(v) Freedom from corruption, and
(vi) Generosity

Model Questions:

1. Which of the following organisation publishes Human Development Index?
a. IMF
b. World Bank

2. Head Quarters of UNDP is located at
a. Washington
b. New York
c. Paris
d. Tokyo

3. As per recent HDI report, what is the rank of India?
a. 130
b. 131
c. 100
d. 135

4. What is the present life expectancy in India as per HDI report?
a. 60 years
b. 55 years
c. 75 years
d. 68.3 years

5. Which of the following country measures Gross National Happiness Index?
a. India
b. USA
c. Bhutan
d. Japan

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