Human Development Index

HDI or Human Development Index is a measuring tool that is released annually to measure the overall living standards of different countries globally. It takes into account multiple parameters for a particular nation that are surveyed throughout the year and then represented statistically.

After that, this representation is compared to other nations and each country is ranked based on their performance. The factors that are taken into consideration are life expectancy, the standard of living, life health expectancy, schooling years, etc. 

That is what HDI means in a broader sense, which can be used to track the human development of a country.

What is the Human Development Index?

The human development index definition states that it is an indicative tool that uses various statistical data to represent multiple factors pertaining to the livelihood of peoples in the world. It takes into consideration several aspects such as life expectancy, education of children, and many others.

It is useful in measuring the overall development of a nation in both social and economic aspects. You have to, therefore, understand those factors that act as decisive instruments in determining such an index.

It should also be noted that this index is released every year by a renowned authority called UNDP or the United Nations Development Programme. This authority conducts multiple surveys and case studies throughout the year and comes up with a specific rank for each country every year.

Based on the declared ranks, those aspects of a particular nation are acknowledged. You should also note that a higher position, therefore, indicates a better standard of living, better education quality and better overall life expectancy of that particular region.

Similarly, a lower rank will indicate more moderate levels of education, living standard and life expectancy for the people living there. That, in turn, calls for immediate action in those countries that have scored the lowest ranks.

Simultaneously, nations that have ranked higher can rejoice but keep in mind they have to retain their position by extending the necessary facilities in the upcoming years as well. 

What are the Indicators of Human Development?

To explain human development index and its indicators, look at the following points.

  • Life Expectancy

It represents the age until which a specific person of a fixed age is expected to live. Naturally, life expectancy rate and corresponding age are likely to differ with increasing age.

  • Schooling Years

It represents the number of years an individual is likely to attend school during his/her lifetime. It is also an indicator of the level of education an individual receives.

  • Adult Literacy Ratio

It represents the data about both female and male adults having the ability to read and write. 

  • Infant Mortality Rate

This rate represents the total number of deaths in infants aged below 1 year scaled to that of a 1000 babies for a particular year. The higher the value, the more precautions a nation needs to observe towards infants’ care after birth.

  • Maternal Mortality Rate

This rate represents the total number of mothers who die while giving birth. Similar to infant mortality rate, a higher figure is indicative of lack in proper medical infrastructure for pregnant women.

  • Population below the Poverty Line

It shows the number of people below a certain level of calories consumed by them. For instance, for rural areas, it is 2400 calories, and for urban areas, it is 2100 calories. Anyone consuming lower than this predefined limit is likely to fall under the category of below poverty line.

Therefore, all these HDI indicators help measure the socio-economic development of a nation. Likewise, with each parameter marked accordingly, countries can get an idea of which areas need improvement so that they can better their overall ranking.

What is the Importance of HDI?

The importance of human development index is that it is an essential indicator of the overall socio-economic conditions of a nation and its residents. Since it takes into account various parameters to determine the development of those areas, it is an effective way to evaluate the performance of every nation.

Consequently, after the survey, every country is awarded a rank by the United Nations Development Programme annually. A higher rank is allocated to the one that has performed well in all or most of the parameters. Likewise, nations that have not fared well in all or most of the parameters attain a lower rank.

As a result, HDI acts a measuring tool that helps in gauging socio-economic conditions of nations every year and also keeps track of the same.

For more information on the human development index and how it is measured based on multiple parameters, you can look into our online learning programmes for an in-depth understanding. We have high-quality study materials drafted by our subject experts to facilitate you with top-class learning. So, without any further delay, avail our online courses and gain an extra edge over your exam preparation.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Human Development Index?

Ans: The human development index definition is that it is an indicator of the overall social and economic well being of a country’s population. It takes into account multiple parameters that help in deciding which nation is doing well in terms of providing all the necessary facilities to its citizens.

2. What is the Importance of the Human Development Index?

Ans: It is an indicator of the potential that a country has in terms of providing its citizens with the essential facilities for an enhanced standard of living. So, in case a nation ranks lower, it will know which areas are to be developed for further improvement in living standards of its people.

3. What are the Indicators of Human Development?

Ans:  The human development index parameters are life expectancy, years of schooling, infant mortality rate, maternity mortality rate, people below the poverty line, and per capita income.