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Human Development Index

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The Human Development Index (HDI) is produced by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and published in the annual Human Development Report. The HDI combines indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income for each country surveyed, in the form of a composite index that serves as a frame of reference for economic and social development. The HDI sets "goalposts" for each dimension — a minimum and a maximum for each — and then shows where each country stants in relation to those goalposts, using a value between 0 and 1.

The educational component of the HDI comprises adult literacy rates and the combined gross enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schooling, weighted to give adult literacy more significance. The life expectancy component is calculated using a minimum life expectancy of 25 years and maximum of 85 years. The goalpost for the minimum income in the wealth component is US$100 (PPP) and for the maximum is US$40,000 (PPP).

The HDI allows for ease of comparison of the experiences within and between countries.


UNDP. n.d. "Human Development Index (HDI)", Human Development Reports. Retrieved 22 August 2008 from