Human Development Report


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Publication Title

Human Development Report

Publication Type

The Human Development Report is an independent report. It is commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is the product of a selected team of leading scholars, development practitioners and members of the Human Development Report Office of UNDP. The Report is translated into more than a dozen languages and launched in more than 100 countries annually.


Publication Date

Yearly since 1990


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The Human Development Report (HDR) was first launched in 1990 with the single goal of putting people back at the center of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy; to go beyond income to assess the level of people’s long-term well-being. The first Human Development Report in 1990 opened with the simply stated premise that has guided all subsequent Reports: “People are the real wealth of a nation.” By backing up this assertion with an abundance of empirical data and a new way of thinking about and measuring development, the Human Development Report has had a profound impact on development policies around the world.

Each Report also focuses on a highly topical theme in the current development debate, providing path-breaking analysis and policy recommendations. The Reports’ messages — and the tools to implement them — have been embraced by people around the world, evidenced by the publication of national human development reports at the country level in more than 120 nations.

Past Reports

1990 HDR: Concept and Measurement of Human Development
1991 HDR: Financing Human Development
1992 HDR: Global Dimensions of Human Development
1993 HDR: People's Participation
1994 HDR: New Dimension's of Human Security
1995 HDR: Gender and Human Development
1996 HDR: Economic Growth and Human Development
1997 HDR: Human Development to Eradicate Poverty
1998 HDR: Consumption for Human Development
1999 HDR: Globalization with a Human Face
2000 HDR: Human Rights and Human Development
2001 HDR: Making New Technologies Work for Human Development
2002 HDR: Deepening Democracy in a Fragmented World
2003 HDR: Millennium Development Goals: A Compact Among Nations to End Human Poverty
2004 HDR: Cultural Liberty in Today's Diverse World
2005 HDR: International Cooperation At A Crossroads: Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World
2006 HDR: Beyond Scarcity, Power, Poverty and Global Water Crises|HDR 2006 - Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis
2007/8 HDR: Fighting Climate Change - Human Solidarity in A Divided World
2009 HDR: Overcoming Barriers - Human Mobility and Development
2010 HDR: The Real Wealth of Nations - Pathways to Human Development

4 new composite indices

Since the first Report, four new composite indices for human development have been developed —

  1. the Human Development Index,
  2. the Gender-related Development Index,
  3. the Gender Empowerment Measure, and
  4. the Human Poverty Index.

2010 Report - 20th Anniversary Edition: The Real Wealth of Nations, Pathways to Human Development

This 20th anniversary edition features introductory reflections by the Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen, who worked with series founder Mahbub ul Haq on the conception of the first Human Development Report and contributed to and inspired many successive volumes.

The 2010 Report continues the tradition of pushing the frontiers of development thinking. For the first time since 1990, the Report looks back rigorously at the past several decades and identifies often surprising trends and patterns with important lessons for the future. These varied pathways to human development show that there is no single formula for sustainable progress—and that impressive long-term gains can and have been achieved even without consistent economic growth.

Looking beyond 2010, this Report surveys critical aspects of human development, from political freedoms and empowerment to sustainability and human security, and outlines a broader agenda for research and policies to respond to these challenges.

As Amartya Sen writes: “Twenty years after the appearance of the first Human Development Report, there is much to celebrate in what has been achieved. But we also have to be alive to ways of improving the assessment of old adversities and of recognizing—and responding to—new threats that endanger human well-being and freedom.“

The 20th anniversary edition is a response to that human development imperative


See also

Azerbaijan Human Development Report 2003

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Human Development Report 2003

Ukraine, Human Development Report 2003

Romania Human Development Report 2005

Macedonia National HDR 2004: Decentralization for Human Development

External Resources

The HDR page on the UNDP website


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