Development
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Human Development Index Tracker

The Human Development Index (HDI), developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), serves as a comprehensive metric for ranking countries by their level of human development. By incorporating three fundamental aspects of human progress—health, education, and standard of living—the HDI provides a more nuanced view of development beyond mere economic growth. These dimensions are quantified through life expectancy at birth, a combination of expected and mean years of schooling, and Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), respectively.

This analysis delves into the latest findings from the UNDP’s Human Development Report 2023-24, examining HDI trends across countries and regions from 1990 to 2022—the most current year for which data are available.

Human Development Index Scores for 2022

The interactive table below presents the 2022 rankings and scores of countries based on their Human Development Index (HDI) values. The overall HDI scores reflect how countries perform in the key dimensions of a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living. The overall score ranges from 0 to 1 — where higher values indicate higher levels of human development.

The rankings for 2022 highlights significant disparities in human development across the globe. At the top, Switzerland had a HDI score of 0.967, closely followed by Norway at 0.966, and Iceland at 0.959. Hong Kong, China (SAR), and Sweden rounded out the top five with scores of 0.956 and 0.952, respectively.

The lowest HDI scores in 2022 were in Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, and Niger.

Main Components of the Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI), devised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), serves as a composite measure to reflect key achievements in human development. It encompasses three principal dimensions: health, education, and standard of living, each represented by specific indicators. The health dimension is assessed through life expectancy at birth, education through both expected years of schooling (EYS) and mean years of schooling (MYS), and standard of living through Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP).

To facilitate comparison across different contexts, the indicators are normalized on a scale from 0 to 1, using established minimum and maximum values (goalposts). The HDI itself is calculated as the geometric mean of these normalized indices, ensuring that improvements in any dimension are equally weighted.

  • Health: This dimension evaluates the overall well-being and longevity of a population.
  • Education: Combines EYS, which forecasts the total years of education a child is expected to undertake, and MYS, which reflects the educational attainment of the adult population.
  • Standard of Living: Assessed by GNI per capita (PPP), this dimension accounts for economic prosperity and the ability of individuals to access goods and services.

The interactive table below looks closer at the data for the three dimensions making up the overall Human Development Index.

A comparison between Switzerland, the highest-ranking country, and Somalia, among the lowest, starkly illustrates the vast disparities in development across these dimensions:

  • Life Expectancy at Birth: In Switzerland, life expectancy stands at 84.3 years, among the highest in the world. Conversely, Somalia’s life expectancy is significantly lower at 56.1 years, highlighting critical health and living condition disparities.
  • Education: In Switzerland, the expected years of schooling reach 16.6 years, coupled with a mean of 13.9 years of schooling already achieved. Somalia’s figures are much lower, with 7.6 expected years of schooling and a mean of only 1.9 years, underscoring the acute educational challenges faced by its population.
  • Gross National Income Per Capita: The economic divide is equally striking. Switzerland’s gross national income per capita stands at approximately $69,432 (2017 PPP$), reflecting its affluent economy. Somalia’s figure is $1,072 (2017 PPP$), indicating severe economic hardship.

Human Development Index Trends

The interactive table below shows Human Development Index (HDI) trends over selected years, including 1990, 2000, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2021, and 2022, accompanied by percentage changes from 2022 compared to 1990, 2000, 2015, and 2021.

Compared to 1990, Mozambique, Niger and Myanmar have seen the largest % increases in their HDI scores. Still, in 2022, Mozambique and Niger were ranked among the lowest in the world at 183 and 189 respectively.

Since 2015, Bangladesh has seen the largest increase, while Botswana saw the largest increase from 2021 to 2022. Notably, since 2015, several countries have seen a decline in their scores, including Timor-Leste, Venezuela and Yemen.

The interactive table is accompaned by a multiple line chart below to better visualise country trends over time. Note that in the line charts, the country score is showns as a blue line, and the world average as a orange line.

Human Development Index Across Regions

There has been a consistent increase in the HDI scores over the past decades, reflecting global progress in health, education, and standard of living. However, the years 2020 to 2022 diverge from this longstanding trend, with the world average score in 2022 the same as in 2019.

The impact of the global pandemic in 2020 meant that the HDI score fell for the first time from 0.739 in 2019 to 0.736 in 2020, continuing to fall to 0.735 in 2021, before returning to the 2019 level of 0.739 in 2022.

The interactive table below shows regional Human Development Index (HDI) trends over selected years, including 1990, 2000, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2021, and 2022, accompanied by percentage changes from 2022 compared to 1990, 2000, 2015, and 2021.

The regional trends in the Human Development Index (HDI) from 1990 to 2022 highlight distinctive developmental paths across the globe. Since 1990, East Asia and the Pacific have shown the strongest growth (51% increase in HDI index value). Since 2000, East Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have seen the strongest growth. All regions have seen a slight decline in their average HDI scores since 2015.

In 2022, the region with the hghest score was Europe and Central Asia, while the lowest was Sub-Saharan Africa at 0.549.

The interactive table is accompaned by a multiple line chart below to better visualise country trends over time. Note that in the line charts, the regional average score is showns as a blue line, and the world average as a orange line.

About the data

The data used on this page is from UNDP, published in the Human Development Report 2023-24.

Changelog

  • Initial release March 2024 covering HDI data up to 2022.

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