View the GDI Frequently Asked Questions
The new GDI measures gender gap in human development achievements in three basic dimensions of human development: health, measured by female and male life expectancy at birth; education, measured by female and male expected years of schooling for children and female and male mean years of schooling for adults ages 25 and older; and command over economic resources, measured by female and male estimated earned income.
The index uses the same methodology as in the HDI. The goalposts are also the same except for life expectancy at birth where the minimum and maximum goalposts are varied (minimum of 22.5 years and a maximum of 87.5 years for females; and the corresponding values for males are 17.5 years and 82.5 years. The rationale is to take into account a biological advantage averaging five years of life that females have over males. For more details on computation see Technical notes.
Countries are ranked based on the absolute deviation from gender parity in HDI. This means that ranking takes equally into consideration gender gaps hurting females, as well as those hurting males.
The GDI reveals that gender gaps in human development are pervasive. On average, at the global level, female HDI value is about 8% lower than male HDI but disparities do exist across countries, human development groups and regions. Across countries gender gaps in HDI values range between 0 % and 40%. Gender gaps in HDI values tend to be smaller in the ‘Very High Human Development Index group’ and widens as one move towards the “Low Human Development Index Group (a gap of 2.5% to 17%). Across regions - it is lowest for the OECD countries at 3.6, followed by the Latin America and the Caribbean region (3.7%) to 17% in South Asia.