The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of key dimensions of human development. It is published by UNDP, the United Nations Development Program.
The HDI comprises 189 countrys. It is expressed as a figure ranging from 0 to 1. Categories are assigned to each country accordingly:
The HDI was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities (human development) should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.
The index is based on three components: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and having a decent standard of living.
The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth. The education component is measured by means of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and expected years of schooling for children of school-entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita.
Statistics are drawn from data provided by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, and the World Bank.
UNDP declares that the HDI does not reflect on inequalities, poverty, human security, empowerment, etc. It is stressed that a fuller picture of a country's level of human development requires analysis of other indicators and information. The UN Statistics Division provides the respective data.
Apart from the Human Development Index, UNDP publishes additional indices, such as the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) or the Gender Inequality Index (GII).
The Human Development Index and the respective Human Development Report are carried out by the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme, which is headquartered in New York. It is supported by two Advisory Panels that provide, among other things, guidance on statistical data and indices.
The first Human Development Report was published in 1990.