Human Development Index (HDI)

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Definition of 'Human Development Index (HDI)'

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic used to rank countries by their level of "human development" and to compare their achievements in terms of life expectancy, education, and income. It is a standard means of measuring a country's overall development and well-being. The HDI is the brainchild of Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, who developed the concept in the 1990s. The HDI is published annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The HDI is calculated using three indicators: life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, and gross national income per capita (GNIPC). Life expectancy is a measure of the average number of years a person is expected to live. Mean years of schooling is a measure of the average number of years a person has spent in school. GNI per capita is a measure of a country's economic output per person.

The HDI is a relative measure, meaning that it compares countries to each other. The HDI is not an absolute measure, meaning that it does not tell us how well a country is doing in absolute terms. The HDI is a useful tool for comparing countries' levels of development and for identifying countries that are lagging behind.

The HDI has been criticized for a number of reasons. Some critics argue that the HDI does not take into account important factors such as inequality and environmental sustainability. Others argue that the HDI is too Western-centric and that it does not reflect the values of non-Western cultures. Despite these criticisms, the HDI remains a widely used measure of human development.

The HDI has been used to identify countries that are lagging behind in terms of human development. These countries are often the focus of international development efforts. The HDI has also been used to track progress in human development over time. The HDI has shown that some countries have made significant progress in human development, while others have not.

The HDI is a valuable tool for understanding the state of human development in the world. It is a useful tool for identifying countries that are lagging behind and for tracking progress in human development over time. However, the HDI has some limitations and should be used with caution.

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