What does the Human Development Index tell us?

The Human Development Index (HDI) was created to emphasize that expanding human choices should be the ultimate criteria for assessing development results. Economic growth is a mean to that process, but is not an end by itself. The HDI can also be used to question national policy choices, asking how two countries with the same level of GNI per capita can end up with different human development outcomes. For example, Malaysia has GNI per capita higher than Chile, but in Malaysia, life expectancy at birth is about 7 years shorter and expected years of schooling is 2.5 years shorter than Chile, resulting in Chile having a much higher HDI value than Malaysia. These striking contrasts can stimulate debate about government policy priorities.