Human Development Index – Meaning, Dimensions, Indicators

human development index
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The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistical tool and a single index measure that assesses the country’s overall accomplishment and achievements. Its purpose is to know the three essential dimensions of human development: access to knowledge, long and healthy life, and a decent standard of living. It informs about the change or improvement in human life.

Every year, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) places the countries considering the HDI report issued in the annual report. It is one of the best tools to keep the record of a nation’s level of economic development, as it comprises all major social and economic indicators.

Dimensions of human development

  • Access to knowledge: The total number of years of schooling in India was thought to be 12.2 years as per the report. Between 1990 and 2019, India’s mean years of schooling remained high by 3.5 years, and expected years of schooling has risen by 4.5 years.
  • Long and Healthy life: The report states that Life expectancy at birth is 69.7 years. It is somewhat reduced than the South Asian average of 69.9 years. Between 1990 and 2019, India’s life expectancy at birth has risen by 11.8 years
  • Standard of living: India’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is USD 6,681, and between 1990 and 2019, it saw an increase of nearly 273.9%.

Indicators of Human Development Index

  1. HDI rank: Out of 189 countries, India has been at 131st rank in the Human Development Index as per the latest report. It fell in the medium human development category with an HDI value of 0.645. India ranked at 129th position in 2019. The report revealed that Norway made it to the top of the index list, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland.
  2. Life expectancy: Here, it states about a specific person who is anticipated to live from an age group, ranging from people to people across all ages.
  3. Life expectancy at birth: In India, for males, it is 67.34 years, while for females, it is 69.64 years.
  4. Maternal mortality rate: It tells about the aggregate number of dying mothers out of 1000 mothers while giving birth to babies. As per the 2011–13 census, the maternal mortality rate in India is 167 deaths. The 2021 census outcomes await.
  5. Infant mortality rate: It states the total number of infants dying below one year out of 1000 babies. In India, the infant mortality rate is 40.5 infants.
  6. Adult literacy ratio: It means the number of people of both genders, i.e. male and female ageing above 15 years, have the potential to read, write as well as learn.

HDI Indexes of India:

  • Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI): It states the HDI value adjusted for inequalities in the three fundamental dimensions of human development. Its value stands at 0.475. 
  • Gender Development Index (GDI): GDI is the ratio of female to male HDI values, and it performed at the value of 0.820
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): The precise percentage of the populace that is multidimensionally underprivileged without access to facilities. The speed of the deprivations adjusts it. The value stands at 0.123.
  • Gender Inequality Index (GII): It is a composite measure showcasing inequality in the achievement of growth between women and men in three key dimensions: empowerment, reproductive health, and the labour market.

UNDP Resident Representative Shoko Noda said India’s low ranking doesn’t mean “India didn’t do well but other countries did better”. It should appreciate other countries, and it has reduced carbon emissions, Noda added.