New measures, new insights: the 2014 Human Development Report

Written by Stephan Klasen, Professor of Economics at the University of Göttingen on Development Progress.

“UNDP has published its new Human Development Report today, with its usual suite of human development indicators that are widely used to assess progress and rank countries. But this year it also introduces one new measure, the Gender Development Index (GDI), presents trends in multidimensional poverty (via the MPI), and makes some slight amendments to its existing indices. 

Falling global inequality in human development

While there has been little alteration in the flagship Human Development Index (HDI), which combines life expectancy, education, and per-capita income, two sensible changes have been introduced (reversing revisions made in 2010). First, to ensure comparability of HDI values over time, the ranges for achievable values for the different dimensions have been fixed, as have the cut-off points for the categories of low, medium, high, and very high human-development countries. This ensures that countries that improve their HDI can actually ‘graduate’ to a higher human development category.”

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