The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compiles the Human Development Index (HDI) of 191 nations in the annual Human Development Report. The index considers the health, education, income and living conditions in a given country to provide a measure of human development which is comparable between countries and over time.
The HDI is the most widely used indicator of human development and has changed how people view the concept. However, several aspects of the index have received criticism. Some scholars have criticized how the factors are weighed, in particular how an additional year of life expectancy is valued differently between countries; and the limited factors it considers, noting the omission of factors such as the levels of distributional and gender inequality. In response to the former, the UNDP introduced the inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) in its 2010 report, and in response to the latter the Gender Development Index (GDI) was introduced in the 1995 report. Others have criticized the perceived oversimplification of using a single number per country.
To reflect developmental differences within countries, a subnational HDI (SHDI) featuring data for more than 1,600 regions was introduced in 2018 by the Global Data Lab at Radboud University in the Netherlands. In 2020, the UNDP introduced another index, the planetary pressures–adjusted Human Development Index (PHDI), which decreases the scores of countries with a higher ecological footprint.
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