The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic (index) of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the GDP per capita is higher.
Indicators of HDI
The HDI is an equi-weighted average of-
- Life Expectancy Index (LEI): Infant mortality is not considered as a separate indicator in this index. Thus, life expectancy refers to life expectancy at birth, not at age one.
- Educational Attainment Index (EAI): It is a combination of adult literacy rate and combined enrolment ratio. The weight assigned to Adult Literacy Rate (ALR) is 2/3 while that for combined Enrolment Ratio (CER) is 1/3. Therefore, Educational Attainment Index may be given as:
- Standard of Living Index (SLI): It is represented here by the concept of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Per capita income is converted into Purchasing Power Parity in terms of US dollar.
- The HDI is a simplification and an admittedly limited evaluation of human development.
- The HDI does not specifically reflect quality of life factors, such as empowerment movements or overall feelings of security.
- In recognition of these facts, the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) provides additional composite indices to evaluate other life aspects, including inequality issues such as gender disparity or racial inequality.
- Examination and evaluation of a country's HDI is best done in concert with examining these and other factors, such as the country's rate of economic growth, expansion of employment opportunities and the success of initiatives undertaken to improve the overall quality of life within a country.