International Human Development Indicators (HDI)

I am continuing to work on a post about the Philippines and the topic of development — and ways that it is measured — and found a detailed report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Within this report are International Human Development Indicators (HDI).  It measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development:

        • a long and healthy life
        • knowledge
        • and a decent standard of living

The most recent HDI is a composite index that covers the period from 1980 to 2011.  It is included in the 2011 issue of the UNDP’s Human Development Report.

The goal of the report is to provide information to help advance human development. The full report can be ordered from the UNDP website or downloaded for free in 18 languages.

The data collected is comprehensive and complicated, and the UNDP has a Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ) page about the report, which can be accessed here.  Also, background on how they come up with the composite index and the concept of human development is available on the UNDP’s Indices & Data page.

There are a total of 187 countries tracked by the UNDP for this report.  Some countries did not have available data and are not included — e.g. North Korea, Somalia, Monaco.

For this post, I list the top 20 countries, the Philippines and its neighboring countries, as well as countries that might be of interest due to population, or connections for Filipinos (countries in the Middle East where there are large numbers of overseas Filipino workers).

Norway is the top country in this ranking, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is at the bottom.  Click here if you want to see the full report (all 187 countries).   You can also click on the individual country below for further information.

The countries are categorized as:

  • Very high human development (scores of 0.889 in 2011- the USA is in this category)
  • High human development (scores of 0.741in 2011)
  • Medium human development (0.630 in 2011 – the Philippines is in this category)
  • Low human development (0.456 in 2011)

HDI Rank Country     The number columns represent from left to right, the years starting from 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and last column are numbers from  2011.

1 Norway 0.796 0.819 0.844 0.876 0.913 0.938 0.940 0.942 0.941 0.941 0.941 0.943
2 Australia 0.850 0.859 0.873 0.889 0.906 0.918 0.920 0.922 0.924 0.926 0.927 0.929
3 Netherlands 0.792 0.806 0.835 0.866 0.882 0.890 0.897 0.902 0.904 0.905 0.909 0.910
4 United States 0.837 0.853 0.870 0.883 0.897 0.902 0.904 0.905 0.907 0.906 0.908 0.910
5 New Zealand 0.800 0.812 0.828 0.861 0.878 0.899 0.901 0.903 0.904 0.906 0.908 0.908
6 Canada 0.817 0.834 0.857 0.870 0.879 0.892 0.897 0.900 0.903 0.903 0.907 0.908
7 Ireland 0.735 0.754 0.782 0.813 0.869 0.898 0.904 0.909 0.909 0.905 0.907 0.908
8 Liechtenstein .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 0.904 0.905
9 Germany 0.730 0.745 0.795 0.835 0.864 0.895 0.898 0.901 0.902 0.900 0.903 0.905
10 Sweden 0.785 0.796 0.816 0.855 0.894 0.896 0.898 0.899 0.900 0.898 0.901 0.904
11 Switzerland 0.810 0.817 0.833 0.846 0.873 0.890 0.893 0.893 0.892 0.899 0.901 0.903
12 Japan 0.778 0.803 0.827 0.850 0.868 0.886 0.891 0.894 0.896 0.895 0.899 0.901
13 Hong Kong, China (SAR) 0.708 0.745 0.786 0.810 0.824 0.850 0.857 0.870 0.885 0.888 0.894 0.898
14 Iceland 0.762 0.782 0.807 0.830 0.863 0.893 0.895 0.899 0.895 0.897 0.896 0.898
15 Korea (Republic of) 0.634 0.690 0.742 0.793 0.830 0.866 0.873 0.881 0.886 0.889 0.894 0.897
16 Denmark 0.783 0.802 0.809 0.833 0.861 0.885 0.887 0.890 0.891 0.891 0.893 0.895
17 Israel 0.763 0.785 0.802 0.823 0.856 0.874 0.877 0.882 0.882 0.884 0.886 0.888
18 Belgium 0.757 0.777 0.811 0.854 0.876 0.873 0.877 0.880 0.882 0.883 0.885 0.886
19 Austria 0.740 0.762 0.790 0.814 0.839 0.860 0.866 0.870 0.876 0.879 0.883 0.885
20 France 0.722 0.742 0.777 0.819 0.846 0.869 0.873 0.877 0.879 0.880 0.883 0.884
23 Spain  0.691 0.717 0.749 0.801 0.839 0.857 0.862 0.866 0.871 0.874 0.876 0.878
24 Italy 0.717 0.735 0.764 0.795 0.825 0.861 0.866 0.869 0.871 0.870 0.873 0.874
26 Singapore .. .. .. .. 0.801 0.835 0.843 0.850 0.855 0.856 0.864 0.866
28 United Kingdom 0.744 0.759 0.778 0.816 0.833 0.855 0.853 0.856 0.860 0.860 0.862 0.863
30 United Arab Emirates 0.629 0.652 0.690 0.724 0.753 0.807 0.818 0.827 0.835 0.841 0.845 0.846
33 Brunei Darussalam 0.750 0.760 0.784 0.807 0.818 0.830 0.834 0.835 0.834 0.835 0.837 0.838
37 Qatar  0.703 0.728 0.743 0.760 0.784 0.818 0.816 0.825 0.825 0.818 0.825 0.831
42 Bahrain 0.651 0.700 0.721 0.750 0.773 0.795 0.799 0.804 0.806 0.805 0.805 0.806
56 Saudi Arabia 0.651 0.668 0.693 0.710 0.726 0.746 0.751 0.755 0.760 0.763 0.767 0.770
57 Mexico 0.593 0.629 0.649 0.674 0.718 0.741 0.748 0.755 0.761 0.762 0.767 0.770
61 Malaysia 0.559 0.600 0.631 0.674 0.705 0.738 0.742 0.746 0.750 0.752 0.758 0.761
63 Kuwait 0.688 0.715 0.712 0.737 0.754 0.752 0.755 0.756 0.757 0.757 0.758 0.760
64 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya .. .. .. .. .. 0.741 0.748 0.755 0.759 0.763 0.770 0.760
84 Brazil 0.549 0.575 0.600 0.634 0.665 0.692 0.695 0.700 0.705 0.708 0.715 0.718
95 Jordan 0.541 0.577 0.591 0.623 0.646 0.673 0.678 0.685 0.692 0.694 0.697 0.698
101 China 0.404 0.448 0.490 0.541 0.588 0.633 0.644 0.656 0.665 0.674 0.682 0.687
103 Thailand  0.486 0.528 0.566 0.603 0.626 0.656 0.661 0.670 0.672 0.673 0.680 0.682
112 Philippines 0.550 0.552 0.571 0.586 0.602 0.622 0.624 0.630 0.635 0.636 0.641 0.644
113 Egypt 0.406 0.461 0.497 0.539 0.585 0.611 0.618 0.626 0.633 0.638 0.644 0.644
124 Indonesia  0.423 0.460 0.481 0.527 0.543 0.572 0.579 0.591 0.598 0.607 0.613 0.617
128 Viet Nam .. .. 0.435 0.486 0.528 0.561 0.568 0.575 0.580 0.584 0.590 0.593
134 India 0.344 0.380 0.410 0.437 0.461 0.504 0.512 0.523 0.527 0.535 0.542 0.547
187 Congo (Democratic Republic of the) 0.282 0.289 0.289 0.254 0.224 0.260 0.266 0.271 0.270 0.277 0.282 0.286

My notes:

It is not surprising to see countries like Norway,  the USA and Canada among the Top 10.  What did surprise me is to see that the Oceana countries —  Australia and New Zealand —  are also in the Top 10.

Japan, South Korea and  Hong Kong are the only Asian countries in the top 20 ranking.

In 1980, HDI scores for the Philippines were higher than Brazil, Thailand and Egypt

  • Brazil’s 1980 HDI number was 0.549 (Brazil is the 5th most populous country in the world, with the largest catholic population — 68% of the population or about 122 million)
  • Thailand was at 0.486
  • Egypt was at 0.406
  • The Philippines was 0.550

For the year 2011,

  • Brazil’s HDI number went from 0.549 to 0.718 and they are now ranked #84 out of 187 countries
  • Thailand’s number went from 0.486 to 0.682 and jumped to a ranking of #103
  • Egypt jumped from a low of 0.406 to 0.644 and now rank #113
  • The Philippines number went from 0.550 to 0.644  and now rank #112

What has happened over the last 30 years to reflect these numbers?  What has changed in Brazil…in Thailand?

Have you heard about this measurement system on the topic of human development — and what do you think about this ranking data?