Human Development Indices and Indicators
2018 Statistical Update
On 14 September 2018, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report Office launched the 2018 Statistical Update for Human Development Indices and indicators. These indices measure progress in key dimensions including health, education, income and gender.
Key Global Findings
Using data for 2017, these indices provide the status of human development in 189 countries. While the indices show a general positive trend in Human Development (HD) around the world, with the Global HDI moving up from 0.598 in 1990 to 0.728 in 2017, the pace of progress across countries and regions is uneven. Out of the 189 countries for which the Human Development Index (HDI) is calculated, 59 countries are today in the very high human development group and only 38 countries fall in the low HDI group. The number of countries in the category of very High Human Development has risen from 12 countries in 1990 to 59 countries in 2017, and during the same time, the number of countries categorized to have low human development has fallen from 62 to 38 countries.
However, significant inequalities in health, education and other key aspects of life persist. People living in the very high human development countries can expect to live on average 19 years longer and spend seven more years in school than those living in the group of low human development countries. Considerable inequalities also exist within countries, even in some of the wealthiest ones. High, low and medium human development countries lose 11, 31 and 25 percent respectively of their human development achievements as measured by the HDI, from inequality. Overall, when inequality in the HDI figures is considered, the value of 2017 Global HDI falls from 0.782 to 0.528 — a 20 per cent loss in the value of HDI. One key dimension of inequality within countries is between men and women. The data looks at the gender gap in opportunities, achievements and empowerment. Worldwide the average HDI for women is six percent lower than for men, primarily due to women’s lower income and educational attainments.