HDR 2016 Reader's Guide

The 17 statistical tables in this annex provide an overview of key aspects of human development. The first six tables contain the family of composite human development indices and their components estimated by the Human Development Report Office (HDRO). The remaining tables present a broader set of indicators related to human development. The two dashboards introduce partial groupings of countries according to their performance on each indicator.

Unless otherwise noted, tables use data available to the HDRO as of 1 September 2016. All indices and indicators, along with technical notes on the calculation of composite indices and additional source information, are available at http:// hdr.undp.org/en/data.

Countries and territories are ranked by 2015 Human Development Index (HDI) value. Robustness and reliability analysis has shown that for most countries differences in HDI are not statistically significant at the fourth decimal place. For this reason countries with the same HDI value at three decimal places are listed with tied ranks.

Sources and definitions

Unless otherwise noted, the HDRO uses data from international data agencies with the mandate, resources and expertise to collect national data on specific indicators.

Definitions of indicators and sources for original data components are given at the end of each table, with full source details in Statistical references.

Methodology updates

The 2016 Report retains all the composite indices from the family of human development indices: the HDI, the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), the Gender Development Index (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The methodology used to compute these indices is the same as the one used in the 2015 Report. See Technical notes 1–5 at http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr2016_technical_notes.pdf for details.

New in this year’s Report are two colour coded dashboard tables, Life course gender gap and Sustainable development. The dashboards introduce partial grouping of countries by their performance on each indicator.

Comparisons over time and across editions of the Report

Because national and international agencies continually improve their data series, the data including the HDI values and ranks presented in this Report are not comparable to those published in earlier editions. For HDI comparability across years and countries see table 2, which presents trends using consistent data.

Discrepancies between national and international estimates

National and international data can differ because international agencies harmonize national data using a consistent methodology and occasionally produce estimates of missing data to allow comparability across countries. In other cases international agencies might not have access to the most recent national data. When HDRO becomes aware of discrepancies, it brings them to the attention of national and international data authorities.

Country groupings and aggregates

The tables present weighted aggregates for several country groupings. In general, an aggregate is shown only when data are available for at least half the countries and represent at least two thirds of the population in that classification. Aggregates for each classification cover only the countries for which data are available.

Human development classification

HDI classifications are based on HDI fixed cutoff points, which are derived from the quartiles of distributions of the component indicators. The cutoff points are HDI of less than
0.550 for low human development, 0.550 – 0.699 for medium human development, 0.700 – 0.799 for high human development and 0.800 or greater for very high human development.

Regional groupings

Regional groupings are based on United Nations Development Programme regional classifications. Least developed countries and small island developing states are defined according to UN classifications (see www.unohrlls.org).

Developing countries

Aggregates are provided for the group of all countries classified as developing countries, grouped by region.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Of the 35 OECD members, 32 are considered developed and 3 developing (Chile, Mexico and Turkey). Aggregates refer to all countries from the group for which data are available.

Country note

Data for China do not include Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Macao Special Administrative Region of China or Taiwan Province of China.


A dash between two years, as in 2005–2014, indicates that the data are from the most recent year available during the period specified. A slash between years, as in 2005/2014, indicates that data are the average for the years shown. Growth rates are usually average annual rates of growth between the first and last years of the period shown.
The following symbols are used in the tables:

..         Not available
0 or 0.0         Nil or negligible
--         Not applicable

Statistical acknowledgements

The Report’s composite indices and other statistical resources draw on a wide variety of the most respected international data providers in their specialized fields. HDRO is particularly grateful to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters; Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; Eurostat; Food and Agriculture Organization; Gallup; ICF Macro; Institute for Criminal Policy Research; Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre; International Labour Organization; International Monetary Fund; International Telecommunication Union; International Union for the Conservation of Nature; Inter Parliamentary Union; Luxembourg Income Study; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean; Syrian Center for Policy Research; United Nations Children’s Fund; United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics; United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; United Nations World Tourism Organization; World Bank; and World Health Organization. The international education database maintained by Robert Barro (Harvard University) and Jong-Wha Lee (Korea University) was another invaluable source for the calculation of the Report’s indices.

Statistical tables

The first six tables relate to the five composite human development indices and their components.

Since the 2010 Human Development Report, four composite human development indices the HDI, the IHDI, the GII and the MPI for developing countries have been calculated. The 2014 Report introduced the GDI, which compares the HDI calculated separately for women and men.

The remaining tables present a broader set of human development indicators and provide a more comprehensive picture of a country’s human development.

Table 1, Human Development Index and its components, ranks countries by 2015 HDI value and details the values of the three HDI components: longevity, education (with two indicators) and income. The table also presents the difference in rankings by HDI and gross national income per capita, as well as the ranking on the 2014 HDI, calculated using the most recently revised historical data available in 2016.

Table 2, Human Development Index trends, 1990–2015, provides a time series of HDI values allowing 2015 HDI values to be compared with those for previous years. The table uses the most recently revised historical data available in 2016 and the same methodology applied to compute 2015 HDI values. The table also includes the change in HDI rank over the last five years and the average annual HDI growth rate across four time intervals: 1990–2000, 2000–2010, 2010–2015 and 1990–2015.

Table 3, Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, contains two related measures of inequality: the IHDI and the loss in HDI due to inequality. The IHDI looks beyond the average achievements of a country in longevity, education and income to show how these achievements are distributed among its residents. An IHDI value can be interpreted as the level of human development when inequality is accounted for. The relative difference between IHDI and HDI values is the loss due to inequality in distribution of the HDI within the country. The table also presents the coefficient of human inequality, which is an unweighted average of inequalities in three dimensions. In addition, the table shows each country’s difference in rank on the HDI and the IHDI. A negative value means that taking inequality into account lowers a country’s rank on the HDI. The table also presents three standard measures of income inequality: the ratio of the top and the bottom quintiles; the Palma ratio, which is the ratio of income of the top 10 percent and the bottom 40 percent; and the Gini coefficient.

Table 4, Gender Development Index, measures disparities on the HDI by gender. The table contains HDI values estimated separately for women and men; the ratio of which is the GDI value. The closer the ratio is to 1, the smaller the gap between women and men. Values for the three HDI components: longevity, education (with two indicators) and income, are also presented by gender. The table includes five country groupings by absolute deviation from gender parity in HDI values.

Table 5, Gender Inequality Index, presents a composite measure of gender inequality using three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labour market. Reproductive health is measured by two indicators: the maternal mortality ratio and the adolescent birth rate. Empowerment is measured by the share of parliamentary seats held by women and the shares of population with at least some secondary education by gender. And labour market is measured by participation in the labour force by gender. A low GII value indicates low inequality between women and men, and vice-versa.

Table 6, Multidimensional Poverty Index: developing countries, captures the multiple deprivations that people in developing countries face in their education, health and living standards. The MPI shows both the incidence of nonincome multidimensional poverty (a headcount of those in multidimensional poverty) and its intensity (the average deprivation score experienced by poor people). Based on deprivation score thresholds, people are classified as multidimensionally poor, near multidimensional poverty or in severe poverty. The contributions of deprivations in each dimension to overall poverty are also presented. In addition, the table provides measures of income poverty: population living below the national poverty line and population living on less than PPP $1.90 per day. MPI estimations for this year use the revised methodology introduced in the 2014 Report, which modified the original set of 10 indicators in several ways. Height for age replaced weight for age for children under age 5 because stunting is a better indicator of chronic malnutrition. A child death is considered a health deprivation only if it happened in the five years prior to the survey. The minimum threshold for education deprivation was raised from five years of schooling to six to reflect the standard definition of primary schooling used in the Millennium Development Goals and in international measures of functional literacy. And the indicators for household assets were expanded to better reflect rural as well as urban households.

Table 7, Population trends, contains major population indicators, including total population, median age, dependency ratios and total fertility rates, which can help assess the burden of support that falls on the labour force in a country.

Table 8, Health outcomes, presents indicators of infant health (percentage of infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, percentage of infants who lack immunization for DTP and measles, and infant mortality rate) and of child health (under five mortality rate and percentage of children under age 5 whose height is stunted). The table also contains indicators of adult health (adult mortality rates by gender, mortality rates due to malaria and tuberculosis, HIV prevalence rates and life expectancy at age 60). Two indicators of quality of health care are also included: number of physicians per 10,000 people and public health expenditure as a share of GDP.

Table 9, Education achievements, presents standard education indicators along with indicators on education quality. The table provides indicators of educational attainment: adult and youth literacy rates and the share of the adult population with at least some secondary education. Gross enrolment ratios at each level of education are complemented by primary school dropout rates. The table also includes two indicators of education quality: primary school teachers trained to teach and the pupil–teacher ratio as well as government expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP.

Table 10, National income and composition of resources, covers several macroeconomic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP), gross fixed capital formation, and taxes on income, profit and capital gain as percentage of total tax revenue. Gross fixed capital formation is a rough indicator of national income that is invested rather than consumed. In times of economic uncertainty or recession, gross fixed capital formation typically declines. General government final consumption expenditure (presented as a share of GDP and as average annual growth) is an indicator of public spending. In addition, the table presents two indicators of debt: domestic credit provided by the financial sector and total debt service, both measured as a percentage of GDP or GNI. The consumer price index is a measure of inflation; two indicators related to the price of food are also presented: the price level index and the price volatility index.

Table 11, Work and employment, presents indicators on two components: employment and unemployment. Two key indicators related to employment are the employment to population ratio and labour force participation rate. The table also reports employment in agriculture and in services and indicators related to vulnerable employment and different forms of unemployment. The table brings together indicators on child labour and the working poor. Two indicators: paid maternity leave and old age pensions reflect security stemming from employment.

Table 12, Human security, reflects the extent to which the population is secure. The table begins with indicators of birth registration, refugees by country of origin and internally displaced persons. It then shows the size of the homeless population due to natural disasters, the population of orphaned children and the prison population. Also provided are indicators of homicide and suicide (by gender), violence against women and the depth of food deficit.

Table 13, International integration, provides indicators of several aspects of globalization. International trade is captured by measuring exports and imports as a share of GDP. Financial flows are represented by net inflows of foreign direct investment and flows of private capital, net official development assistance and inflows of remittances. Human mobility is captured by the net migration rate, the stock of immigrants, the net number of tertiary students from abroad (expressed as a percentage of total tertiary enrolment in that country) and the number of international inbound tourists. International communication is represented by the share of the population that uses the Internet, the number of mobile phone subscriptions per 100 people and the percentage change in mobile phone subscriptions between 2010 and 2015.

Table 14, Supplementar y indicators: perceptions of wellbeing, includes indicators that reflect individuals’ perceptions of relevant dimensions of human development: education quality, health care quality, standard of living and labour market, personal safety and overall satisfaction with freedom of choice and life. The table also presents indicators reflecting perceptions about community and government.

Table 15, Status of fundamental human rights treaties, shows when the key human rights conventions were ratified by countries. The 11 selected conventions cover civil and political rights; social, economic, and cultural rights; and rights and freedoms related to elimination of all forms of racial and gender discrimination and violence, protection of children’s rights, rights of migrant workers and persons with disabilities. They also cover torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as protection from enforced disappearance.

Dashboard 1, Life course gender gap, contains a selection of indicators that indicate gender gaps over the life course: childhood and youth, adulthood and older age. The indicators refer to health, education, labour market and work, leadership, seats in parliament and social protection. Some indicators are presented only for women, and others are presented as a ratio of female to male values. Three colour coding visualizes partial grouping of countries by indicator. For each indicator countries are divided into three groups of approximately equal size (terciles): the top third, the middle third and the bottom third. Sex ratio at birth is an exception: countries are divided into two groups: the natural group (countries with a value between 1.04–1.07, inclusive) and the gender biased group (all other countries). Deviations from the natural sex ratio at birth have implications for population replacement levels, suggest possible future social and economic problems and may indicate gender bias. Countries with values of a parity index concentrated around 1 form the group with the best achievements in that indicator. Deviations from parity are treated equally regardless of which gender is overachieving. The intention is not to suggest thresholds or target values for these indicators. See Technical note 6 at http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/ hdr2016_technical_notes.pdf for details about partial grouping in the table.

Dashboard 2, Sustainable development, contains a selection of indicators that cover environmental, economic and social sustainable development. A mix of level and change indicators is related to renewable energy consumption, carbondioxide emissions, forest areas and fresh water withdrawals. Economic sustainability indicators look at natural resource depletion, national savings, external debt stock, government spending on research and development, and diversity of economy. Social sustainability is captured by changes in income and gender inequality and by the old age dependency ratio. Three colour coding visualizes a partial grouping of countries by indicator. For each indicator countries are divided into three groups of approximately equal sizes (terciles): the top third, the middle third and the bottom third. The intention is not to suggest thresholds or target values for these indicators. See Technical note 7 at http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/ hdr2016_technical_notes.pdf for more details about partial grouping in the table.