Human Development Report by UNDP

Human Development Index (HDI) 2019


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: HDI

Mains level: Human Development

India dropped two ranks in the United Nations’ Human Development Index this year, standing at 131 out of 189 countries.

Try this PYQ:

Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’?

(a) Maintenance of law and order

(b) Paying taxes

(c) Registering property

(d) Dealing with construction permits

Human Development Index (HDI)

  • HDI is a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions.
  • It is one of the best tools to keep track of the level of development of a country, as it combines all major social and economic indicators that are responsible for economic development.
  • Pakistani economist Mahbub-ul-Haq created HDI in 1990 which was further used to measure the country’s development by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
  • Every year UNDP ranks countries based on the HDI report released in their annual report.

Various indicators under HDI

  • Calculation of the index combines four major indicators: life expectancy for health, expected years of schooling, mean of years of schooling for education and GNI per capita for the standard of living.

For the first time: PHDI

  • For the first time, the UNDP introduced a new metric to reflect the impact caused by each country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint.
  • This is Planetary Pressures-adjusted HDI or PHDI.
  • It measured the amount of fossil fuels, metals and other resources used to make the goods and services it consumes.
  • The report found that no country has yet been able to achieve a very high level of development without putting a huge strain on natural resources.

Highlights of the 2019 Report

  • Norway, which tops the HDI, falls 15 places if this metric is used, leaving Ireland at the top of the table.
  • In fact, 50 countries would drop entirely out of the “very high human development group” category, using this new metric PHDI.
  • Australia falls 72 places in the ranking, while the US and Canada would fall 45 and 40 places respectively, reflecting their disproportionate impact on natural resources.
  • The oil and the gas-rich Gulf States also fell steeply. China would drop 16 places from its current ranking of 85.

Indian scenario

  • If the Index were adjusted to assess the planetary pressures caused by each nation’s development, India would move up eight places in the rankings.
  • China’s net emissions (8 gigatonnes) are 34% below its territorial emissions (12.5 gigatonnes) compared with 19% in India and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch