Human Development Index

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2022, 11:36

The Human Development Report is released annually by UNDP's Human Development Report Office. It compiles the Human Development Index of 189 countries in the world.

Human Development Index (HDI) measures achievement in key dimensions of human development. UNDP created it 30 years ago as an alternate measurement of a country's progress instead of relying on GDP alone. The three key dimensions measured by the Human Development Index are:

  • Long and Healthy Life: Indicated by life expectancy
  • Knowledge: Indicated by expected years of schooling or mean years of schooling
  • A decent standard of living: Indicated by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita

The geometric mean of these three indices will give you the Human Development Index, a value ranging from 0 to 1. The nations are further classified into very high, high, medium, and low based on HDI value in the following manner:

  • A value above 0.8- Very High
  • Between 0.7 to 0.799- High
  • Between 0.550 to 0.699- Medium
  • Below 0.550- Low

The Human Development Index of a country reveals whether people of that country have the freedom and opportunity to live the life they want.

Human Development Index - Overview

  • The first human development report was published in 1990 by economists from Pakistan and India, Mahbub ul Haq and Amartya Sen.
  • The reports were launched with the purpose – "to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people-centred policies."
  • Haq wanted to convince the public that development should be evaluated not just by economic advances but also by improvements in well-being.
  • In 2010, an inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI) was introduced. IHDI captures the losses in human development due to inequality in health, education, and income.

Human Development Index 2020

  • India ranked 131 among 189 countries in the Human Development Index 2020 with a value of 0.645, putting it in the medium HDI category. It fell two places from 129 ranking in the 2019 Human Development Report.
  • Norway was on the top of the list with a score of 0.957. It was followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Iceland.
  • Pakistan (154), Nepal (142), Bangladesh (133), and Bhutan (129) were among the other countries that ranked medium in Human Development Report 2020.
  • The life expectancy of Indians at birth was measured 69.7 years. In comparison, Bangladesh and Pakistan had life expectancies of 72.6 years and 67.3 years, respectively.
  • India's gross national income per capita (calculated on purchasing power parity basis) fell from USD 6,829 in 2018 to USD 6,681 in 2019.
  • The report reported higher malnutrition among girls than boys.
  • India succeeded in increasing its solar capacity from 2.6 gigawatts in March 2014 to 30 gigawatts by July 2019, achieving its target of 20 gigawatts four years earlier than the target date. With this, India's rank is 5th for installed solar capacity.
  • In 2020, the UNDP introduced a new metric to assess the planetary pressure caused by each country's development. It reflects the impact caused by each country's per-capita carbon emission and material footprint.
  • If this metric is used, Norway will fall 15 places from the top, and 50 other countries will drop out from the 'very high' category. However, India would move 8 places higher with this ranking.

Human Development Index 2020- Top 10 Countries



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FAQs on Human Development Index

Q.1) Which country topped the Human Development Index published in HDR 2020?

Ans: Norway topped the Human Development Index published in the HDR 2020.

Q.2) How did India fare in the Human Development Index 2020?

Ans: India ranked 131 among 189 countries in the Human Development Index 2020.

Q.3) What is India's Human Development Index2021 rank?

Ans: The HDR for 2021/2022 is scheduled to be released by the end of the second quarter of 2022.