Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistical measure used to assess and compare the social and economic development levels of different countries. It was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian economist Amartya Sen in 1990 and is published annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of their Human Development Reports.

The HDI takes into account three key dimensions of human development:

  1. Health (Life Expectancy at Birth): This component is measured by life expectancy at birth, which reflects the overall health and longevity of a country’s population. The longer the life expectancy, the higher the score for this dimension. (Sustainable Development Goal 3)
  2. Education (Mean Years of Education and Expected Years of Education): The education dimension comprises two indicators: mean years of education for adults aged 25 years and older, and expected years of schooling for children entering the education system. Both indicators reflect the level of education attained and the access to education in a country. (Sustainable Development Goal 4.3)
  3. Standard of Living (Gross National Income per Capita): This dimension is measured by the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, which assesses the economic well-being and living standards of a country’s citizens. (Sustainable Development Goal 8.5).

The formula for calculating the HDI is as follows:

HDI = (Life Expectancy Index + Education Index + GNI per Capita Index) / 3

  1. Life Expectancy Index: Calculated as (Life Expectancy – Minimum Life Expectancy) / (Maximum Life Expectancy – Minimum Life Expectancy)
  2. Education Index: Calculated as (2/3 * Mean Years of Education Index) + (1/3 * Expected Years of Education Index)
  3. Mean Years of Education Index: Calculated as (Mean Years of Education – 0) / (15 – 0)
  4. Expected Years of Education Index: Calculated as (Expected Years of Education – 0) / (18 – 0)
  5. GNI per Capita Index: Calculated as log(GNI per Capita) – log(Minimum GNI per Capita) / log(Maximum GNI per Capita) – log(Minimum GNI per Capita)

After calculating the index for each dimension, they are all combined to produce the final HDI value, which ranges from 0 to 1. A higher HDI score indicates a higher level of human development and a better quality of life for a country’s population.

India’s Ranking in HDI 2021-2022

In the 2021 Human Development Index (HDI), India ranked 132nd out of 191 countries and territories. However, the country’s performance declined compared to the previous report due to a decrease in life expectancy.

Key Points:

  • India’s current HDI value of 0.633 places it in the medium human development category, which is lower than its value of 0.645 in the 2020 report.
  • The decline in HDI from 0.645 in 2019 to 0.633 in 2021 can be attributed to the drop in life expectancy from 69.7 years to 67.2 years during the survey period.
  • India’s expected years of schooling decreased to 9 years, down from 12.2 years in the 2020 report. However, the mean years of schooling increased to 6.7 years from 6.5 years in the 2020 report. 
  • In the Gender Development Index, India maintained its 132nd position, but the female life expectancy decreased from 71 years in the 2020 report to 68.8 years in the 2021 report.
  • The mean years of schooling for females also declined from 12.6 to 11.9 years during the corresponding period.
  • India scored 0.123 on the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with a headcount ratio of 27.9 percent, and 8.8 percent of the population lived in severe multidimensional poverty. On a positive note, over the last decade, India managed to lift an impressive 271 million people out of multidimensional poverty, as noted in the report.
  • Among the neighbors of India, Sri Lanka (73rd), China (79th), Bhutan (127th), Bangladesh (129th), and are ranked above India, while Pakistan (161st ), Nepal (143rd ), and Myanmar (149th) are below it.

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