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Terms & Synonyms

Human Development Index

Official WHO Definition

Other Definitions

The Human Development Index (HDI) is an index combining normalized measures of life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita for countries worldwide. It is claimed as a standard means of measuring human development — a concept of widening the options of persons, giving them greater opportunities for education, health care, income, employment, etc (UNDP). The basic use of HDI is to rank countries by level of "human development", which usually also implies to determine whether a country is a developed, developing, or underdeveloped country.

The HDI combines three basic dimensions:

  1. Life expectancy at birth, as an index of population health and longevity
  2. Knowledge and education, as measured by the adult literacy rate (with two-thirds weighting) and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio (with one-third weighting).
  3. Standard of living, as measured by the natural logarithm of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) in United States dollars.


Interpretations and Explanations


WHO-Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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