20th anniversary Human Development Report features pioneering new indices
United Nations, New York, 4 November 2010—The 2010 Human Development Report, released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today, features three innovative new measurements complementing the Report’s traditional Human Development Index (HDI): the Inequality-adjusted HDI, the Gender Inequality Index and the Multidimensional Poverty Index.
“These new measures are major methodological advances that can pinpoint problems and successes in a country, and help to develop ideas and policies that can improve people’s lives,” said Jeni Klugman, the Report’s lead author.
The 2010 Report, The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development, introduces the Inequality-adjusted HDI, a measure of human development that accounts for inequality. Under perfect equality, the HDI and Inequality-adjusted HDI are identical. The HDI for an average individual is less than the aggregate HDI when there is inequality in the distribution of health, education and income; the lower the Inequality-adjusted HDI (and the greater the difference between it and the HDI), the greater the inequality.
“The Inequality-adjusted HDI shows that in many countries, despite rising overall average development achievement, far too many people are being left behind,” Jeni Klugman said.
The 2010 Report also presents the Gender Inequality Index (GII), a new measure built on the same framework as the HDI and Inequality-adjusted HDI to illuminate differences in the distribution of achievements between women and men. Measuring indicators such as maternal mortality rates and women’s representation in parliaments, the GII shows that:
Qatar is farthest from gender equality among high-HDI countries; Burundi is the closest to gender equality among low-HDI countries, as is China in the medium-HDI group.
“Providing girls and women with equal educational opportunities, medical care, legal rights and political representation is not only socially just, but one of the best possible investments in development for all people,” Jeni Klugman said. “The Gender Inequality Index is designed to help advance human development progress by objectively measuring the extent and impact of the persistent social disparities between men and women.”
This year’s report also introduces the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which complements income-based poverty measures. The MPI identifies deprivations across the same dimensions as the HDI—health, education and living standards—and shows the number of people who are multidimensionally poor and the deprivations that they face on the household level. The MPI uses 10 indicators; a household is counted as poor if it is deprived in more than three of those areas. The MPI can be deconstructed by region, ethnicity and other groupings as well as by dimension. It can also be adapted further for national use.
Key findings include:
The Multidimensional Poverty Index was produced for the 2010 Human Development Report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at the University of Oxford, with UNDP support, as an innovative alternative to the Reports’ formerly used Human Poverty Index.
Return to the list <<<<<