Human Development Index

Average achievement in 3 basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, knowledge, and a decent standard of living

  • Source: UNDP

The Human Development Index (HDI), published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, a sufficient education, and a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the 3 dimensions. The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth; the education dimension is measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school-entering age. The standard-of-living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita. The HDI uses the logarithm of income to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing gross national income (GNI). The scores for the 3 HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index using geometric mean. The HDI is calculated for 188 countries annually. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Human Development Index (HDI)


The HDI simplifies and captures only part of what human development entails. It does not reflect on inequalities, poverty, human security, empowerment, and so on.

Suggested citation

United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report. 1980-2015. "Human Development Index." Retrieved from Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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