What Is the Human Development Index? - Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:01 HDI Definition
  • 0:24 Key Features
  • 1:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Want to know where your country ranks in development? In this lesson, you'll learn about the United Nations' Human Development Index and some of its key components. A short quiz follows.

Human Development Index Definition

The Human Development Index (HDI) is an index published by the United Nations Development Program. It lists countries in order of human achievement. According to the United Nations Development Program, the purpose of the report is to 'simulate global, regional, and national policy discussions on issues that are relevant to human development.'

Key Features

The HDI appears in the annual Human Development Report, which is also published by the United Nations Development Program. The HDI calculates and ranks human achievement by certain developmental criteria. It uses three dimensions and four indicators to determine human development in a particular country. The indicators are used to measure the dimensions. The three dimensions include health, education, and living standards. The health indicator is life expectancy at birth. Education indicators include the mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling. The living standards indicator is the gross national income per capita.

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