Human Development Index in 2013 Report shows major gains since 2000 in most countries of South

14 Mar 2013

The 2013 Report’s Statistical Annex also includes two experimental indices, the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and the Gender Inequality Index (GII).


The GII is designed to measure gender inequalities as revealed by national data on reproductive health, women’s empowerment and labour market participation. The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark top the GII, with the least gender inequality. The regions with the greatest gender inequality as measured by the GII are Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Arab States.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) examines factors at the household level — such as adult literacy, children’s school enrolment, child mortality, access to clean water, electricity and sanitation, as well as basic household goods and home construction — that together provide a fuller portrait of poverty than income measurements alone. The MPI is not intended to be used for national rankings, due to significant differences among countries in available household survey data.

In the 104 countries covered by the MPI, about 1.56 billion people — or more than 30% of their combined populations — are estimated to live in multidimensional poverty. The countries with the highest percentages of ‘MPI poor’ are all in Africa: Ethiopia (87%), Liberia (84%), Mozambique (79%) and Sierra Leone (77%). Yet the largest absolute numbers of multidimensionally poor people live in South Asia, including 612 million in India alone.

The Statistical Annex also presents data specifically pertinent to the 2013 Report, including expanding trade ties between developing countries, immigration trends, growing global Internet connectivity and public satisfaction with government services, as well as individual quality of life in different countries.

The Report also reviews key regional development trends, as shown by the HDI and other data:

    Arab States: The region’s average HDI value of 0.652 is fourth out of the six developing country regions analysed in the Report, with Yemen achieving the fastest HDI growth since 2000 (1.66%). The region has the lowest employment-to–population ratio (52.6%), well below the world average of 65.8%.
    East Asia and the Pacific: The region has an average HDI value of 0.683 and registered annual HDI value growth between 2000 and 2012 of 1.31%, with Timor-Leste leading with 2.71%, followed by Myanmar at 2.23%.  The East Asia-Pacific region has the highest employment-to–population ratio (74.5%) in the developing world.
    Eastern Europe and Central Asia: The average HDI value of 0.771 is the highest of the six developing-country regions. Multi-dimensional poverty is minimal, but it has the second lowest employment-to-population ratio (58.4%) of the six regions.
    Latin America and the Caribbean: The average HDI value of 0.741 is the second highest of the six regions, surpassed only by Eastern Europe and Central Asia average. Multi-dimensional poverty is relatively low, and overall life satisfaction, as measured by the Gallup World Poll, is 6.5 on a scale from 0 to 10, the highest of any region.
    South Asia: The average HDI value for the region of 0.558 is the second lowest in the world. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 1.43% in HDI value, which is the highest of the regions. Afghanistan achieved the fastest growth (3.9%), followed by Pakistan (1.7%) and India (1.5%).
    Sub-Saharan Africa: The average HDI value of 0.475 is the lowest of any region, but the pace of improvement is rising. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered average annual growth of 1.34 percent in HDI value, placing it second only to South Asia, with Sierra Leone (3.4%) and Ethiopia (3.1%) achieving the fastest HDI growth.

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ABOUT THE HDI: The Human Development Index (HDI) was introduced in the first Human Development Report in 1990 as a composite measurement of development that challenged purely economic assessments of national progress. The HDI in the 2013 Report covers 187 countries and territories. Data constraints precluded HDI estimates for eight countries: Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, San Marino, Somalia, South Sudan and Tuvalu. HDI values and rankings as presented in Table 1 of the Report’s Statistical Annex are calculated using the latest internationally comparable data for health, education and income. Previous HDI values and rankings are retroactively recalculated using the same updated data sets and current methodologies, as presented in Table 2 of the Statistical Annex. The HDI rankings and values in the 2013 Human Development Report cannot therefore be compared directly to HDI rankings and values published in previous Human Development Reports.

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ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2013 Human Development Report in ten languages, plus additional reference materials on its indices and specific regional implications, please visit: http://hdr.undp.org.