HDI – Measuring standard of living

The Human Development Index (HDI) has been published by the United Nations each year since 1990. The report contains information on economic and social development for every country in the world. However it is important to note that countries with similar ranking HDI values do not always match its ranking in terms of Real GDP per capita. The table below from The Economist shows 2011 rankings – in brackets – using the HDI method.

The HDI is the average of three indices based on three different variables:
1. Life expectancy at birth
2. Education – a weighted average of adult literacy (two-thirds) and average years of schooling (one third)
3. Real GNP per capita – measured in US dollars, at purchasing power parity* (PPP) exchange rates.

1 thought on “HDI – Measuring standard of living

  1. Charles Pye

    So basically, the US has low life expectancy, but we make up for it on this index with more education and income. It would be nice to see the actual numbers for each category, though, and a discussion of how they’re weighted.


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