Human Development Report 2020: Reader's Guide

The statistical tables in this annex depict the state of human development before the COVID-19 pandemic based on available data for 2019 and earlier years. Data reflecting changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic fallout in 2020 will be avail- able in 2021 and will be presented in tables and related analyses of the 2021 Human Development Report.

The tables 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 sixth table is produced in partnership with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The remaining tables present a broader set of indicators related to human development. The five dashboards use colour coding to visualize partial groupings of coun- tries according to performance on each indicator.

Tables 1–6 and dashboards 1–5 are part of the 2020 Human Development Report. The full set of 20 statistical tables is available for download at http://hdr.undp. org/en/2020-report. Unless otherwise noted, tables use data available to the HDRO as of 15 July 2020. All indices and indicators, along with technical notes on the calculation of composite indices and additional source information, are available at

Countries and territories are ranked by 2019 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.

Gross national income per capita in purchasing power parity terms

In comparing standard of living across countries, the income component of the HDI uses gross national income (GNI) per capita converted into purchasing power parity (PPP) terms to eliminate differences in national price levels.

The International Comparison Programme (ICP) survey, the world’s largest statistical initiative under the coordination by the World Bank, in the 2017 cycle has produced internationally comparable price level indices and estimates of PPP-based GDP and its major expenditure components in aggregate and per capita terms for 176 participating economies. The 2020 HDR uses GNI per capita in constant 2017 PPP terms.

Methodology updates

The 2020 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 Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The methodology used to compute the indices is the same as the one used in the 2019 Human Development Report. For details, see Technical notes 1–5 at

The 2020 Report has five colour-coded dashboards (quality of human development, life-course gender gap, women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability and socioeconomic sustainability). For details on the methodology used to create them, see Technical note 6 at

Comparisons over time and across editions

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, or, which presents interpolated 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 grouping. Aggregates for each grouping 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 dis- tributions 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

Developing countries

The aggregates for developing countries are based on information from all developing countries that are included in a regional grouping.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Of the 37 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development members, 33 are considered developed countries and 4 (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Turkey) are considered developing countries. Aggregates refer to all countries from the group for which data are available.

Country notes

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

As of 2 May 2016, Czechia is the short name to be used for the Czech Republic.

As of 1 June 2018, the Kingdom of Eswatini is the name of the country formerly known as Swaziland.

As of 14 February 2019, the Republic of North Macedonia (short form: North Macedonia) is the name of the country formerly known as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


A dash between two years, as in 2010–2019, indicates that the data are from the most recent year available during the period specified. A slash between years, as in 2015/2020, indicates that the 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 00 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; Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre; International Labour Organization; International Monetary Fund; International Telecommunication Union; 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 World Tourism Organization; World Bank; and World Health Organization. The inter- national 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.

For indicators that are global Sustainable Development Goals indicators or can be used in monitoring progress towards specific goals, the table headers include the relevant goals and targets.

Table 1, Human Development Index and its components, ranks countries by 2019 HDI value and details the values of the three HDI components: longevity, education (with two indicators) and income per capita. The table also presents the difference in rankings by HDI value and gross national income per capita, as well as the rank on the 2018 HDI, calculated using the most recently revised historical data available in 2020.

Table 2, Human Development Index trends, 1990–2019, provides a time series of HDI values allowing 2019 HDI values to be compared with those for previous years. The table uses the most recently revised historical data available in 2020 and the same methodology applied to compute 2019 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, 2010–2019 and 1990–2019.

Table 3, Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, contains two related measures of inequality—the IHDI and the overall 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. The 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 presents the coefficient of human inequality, which is the unweighted average of inequalities in the 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 the income shares of the poorest 40 percent, the richest 10 percent and the richest 1 percent of the population, as well as 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 in- come per capita—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. The reproductive health indicators are maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rate. The empowerment indicators are the percentage of parliamentary seats held by women and the percentage of population with at least some secondary education by gender. The labour market indicator is 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, captures the multiple deprivations that people in developing countries face in their health, education and standard of living. 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, in severe multidimensional poverty or vulnerable to multidimensional poverty. The table includes the contribution of deprivation in each dimension to overall multidimensional poverty. It also presents measures of income poverty—population living below the national poverty line and population living on less than $1.90 in purchasing power parity terms per day. MPI values are based on a revised methodology developed in partnership with OPHI. For details, see Technical note 5 at files/mpi2020_technical_notes.pdf

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 in the 24 hours prior to the survey, percentage of infants who lack immunization for DTP and measles, and infant mortality rate) and of child health (percentage of children under age 5 who are stunted and under-five mortality rates). The table also contains indicators of adult health (adult mortality rates by gender, mortality rates attributable to noncommunicable diseases by gender, incidence of malaria and tuberculosis, and HIV prevalence rates). Finally, it includes healthy life expectancy at birth and current health expenditure as a percentage of GDP.

Table 9, Education achievements, presents standard education indicators. The table provides in- dicators of educational attainment—adult and youth literacy rates and the percentage of the adult popu- lation with at least some secondary education. Gross enrollment ratios at each level of education are complemented by primary school dropout rate and survival rate to the last grade of lower secondary general education. The table also presents 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), labour share of GDP (which includes wages and social protection transfers), gross fixed capital formation, and taxes on income, profit and capital gains as a 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 con- sumption expenditure (presented as a percentage of GDP and as average annual growth) is an indicator of public spending. In addition, the table presents two indicators of debt—external debt stock and total debt service, both measured as a percentage of GNI. The consumer price index, a measure of inflation, is also presented.

Table 11, Work and employment contains indicators on five topics: employment, unemployment, work that is a risk to human development, skill-level employment and employment-related social security. The employment indicators are employment to population ratio, labour force participation rate, employment in agriculture and employment in services. The unemployment indicators are total unemployment, youth unemployment and youth not in school or employment. The indicators on work that is a risk to human development are child labour, the working poor and proportion of informal employment in nonagricultural employment. The indicator on skill-level employment is high-skill to low-skill employment ratio. The indicator on employment-related social security is the percentage of the eligible population that receives an old-age pension.

Table 12, Human security, reflects the extent to which the population is secure. The table begins with the percentage of births that are registered, followed by the number of refugees by country of origin and the number of internally displaced people. It then shows the size of the homeless population due to natural disasters, the population of orphaned children and the prison population. It also provides homicide and suicide rates (by gender), an indicator on justification of wife beating and an indicator on the depth of food deficit (average dietary energy supply adequacy).

Table 13, Human and capital mobility, provides indicators of several aspects of globalization. International trade is captured by measuring exports and imports as a percentage 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 enrollment in the country) and the number of international inbound tourists. International communication is represented by the percentages of the total and female populations that use the Internet, the number of mobile phone subscriptions per 100 people and the percentage change in mobile phone subscriptions between 2010 and 2018.

Table 14, Supplementary indicators: perceptions of well-being, includes indicators that reflect individuals’ perceptions of relevant dimensions of human development—education quality, health care quality, standard of living, personal safety, freedom of choice and overall life satisfaction. The table also presents indicators reflecting perceptions about community and government.

Table 15, Status of fundamental human rights treaties, shows when countries ratified key human rights conventions. The 11 selected conventions cover basic human rights and freedoms related to elimination of all forms of racial and gender discrimination and violence and protection of the rights of children, 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, Quality of human development, contains a selection of indicators associated with the quality of health, education and standard of living. The indicators on quality of health are lost health expectancy, number of physicians and number of hospital beds. The indicators on quality of education are pupil–teacher ratio in primary schools; primary school teachers trained to teach; the percentages of primary schools and of secondary schools with access to the Internet; and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores in reading, mathematics and science. The indicators on quality of standard of living are the percentage of employment that is in vulnerable employment, the percentage of rural population with access to electricity, the percentage of population using safely managed drinking-water services and the percentage of population using safely managed sanitation facilities. A country in the top third of an indicator distribution has performed better than at least two-thirds of countries globally. A country that is in the top third group on all indicators can be considered a country with the highest quality of human development. The dashboard shows that not all countries in the very high human development group have the highest quality of human development across all quality indicators and that many countries in the low human development group are in the bottom third of all quality indicators in the table.

Dashboard 2, Life-course gender gap, contains a selection of indicators that indicate gender gaps in choices and opportunities over the life course-childhood and youth, adulthood and older age. The indicators refer to health, education, labour market and work, political decisionmaking, time use and social protection. Most indicators are presented as a ratio of female to male values. Sex ratio at birth is an exception to grouping by tercile—countries are divided into two groups: the natural group (countries with a value of 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; they can 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.

Dashboard 3, Women’s empowerment, contains a selection of woman-specific empowerment indicators that allows empowerment to be compared across three dimensions: reproductive health and family planning, violence against girls and women and socioeconomic empowerment. Most countries have at least one indicator in each tercile, which implies that women’s empowerment is unequal across indicators and countries.

Dashboard 4, Environmental sustainability, contains a selection of indicators that cover environmental sustainability and environmental threats. The environmental sustainability indicators present fossil fuel energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, forest area, fresh water withdrawals, use of fertilizer nutrient and domestic material consumption. The environmental threats indicators are mortality rates attributed to household and ambient air pollution and to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene services, the number of deaths and missing persons attributed to disasters, the percentage of land that is degraded mostly by human activities and practices, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Index value, which measures aggregate extinction risk across groups of species.

Dashboard 5, Socioeconomic sustainability, contains a selection of indicators that cover economic and social sustainability. The economic sustainability indicators are adjusted net savings, total debt service, gross capital formation, skilled labour force, diversity of exports and expenditure on research and development. The social sustainability indicators are old age dependency ratio projected to 2030, ratio of education and health expenditure to military expenditure, change in overall loss in HDI value due to inequality and changes in gender and income inequality.