Human Development Index- HDI

Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices. The most critical ones are to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living. Additional choices include political freedom, guaranteed human rights and self-respect.Human development has to be development of the people, by the people, for the people. Human development is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests.

The first Human Development Report was published in 1990,States human development as a process of enlarging people’s choices and enhancing their capabilities. The process concerns the creation of an enabling environment in which people can develop their full potential and live productive and creative lives according with their needs, interests and own values. In this sense, human development paradigm promotes well-being in a society.

The HDI was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. 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. These contrasts can stimulate debate about government policy priorities.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the following three dimensions:-

a. A long and healthy life, as reflected in life expectancy at birth.

b. The acquisition of education and knowledge, as reflected in the mean years of schooling (adjusted for out of school children) and literacy rate (age 7 years and above).

c. Th e standard of living and command over resources, as reflected in the monthly per capita expenditure adjusted for inflation and inequality.

India’s human development index (HDI) ranking for 2015 puts India ranked as 131 out of 188 countries. Asia’s third largest economy is among a group of countries classed as “medium” in the list, as opposed to “low” in the 1990s, which is largely due to an increase in life expectancy and mean years of schooling in the past 25 years.

The following are the reasons to keep India at the bottom of human development

(a) rapid increase in population

(b) large number of adult illiterates and low gross enrollment ratio

(c) high drop- out rates

(d) inadequate government expenditure on education and health,

(e) large proportion of under weight children as well as under nourished people

(f) very poor sanitation facilities and low access to essential life saving medicines.

The HDI is an average measure of basic human development achievements in a country measured by UNDP. It is an average of long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development viz. a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

India has been placed at 130th position in the 2015 Human Development Index (HDI) among the 188 countries. It was unveiled in the recently released Human Development Report 2015 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Key facts

  • India has been placed at 130th position with 0.609 score in the medium human development category. In 2014 report country’s rank was 135 with 0.586 score.
  • Improvement in India’s 2015 HDI from previous year has been attributed to rise in life expectancy and per capita income.
  • India’s Life expectancy at birth: It has increased to 68 years in 2014 from 67.6 in the previous year and 53.9 in 1980.
  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita: It has increased to $5,497 in 2014 from $5,180 in 2013 and $1,255 in 1980. India’s GNI per capita increased by about 338 per cent between 1980 and 2014.
  • Access to knowledge: Expected years of schooling have remained stagnant at 11.7 since 2011. The mean years of schooling at 5.4 has not changed since 2010.
  • Gender Development Index (GDI): GDI value of India is 0.795 in 2014. The female HDI value for India is 0.525 in contrast with 0.660 for males.
  • Gender Inequality Index (GII): India rank at 130th position with value of 0.563 out of 155 countries in the 2014.
  • India’s HDI value increased from 0.362 to 0.609 between 1980 and 2014. It indicates an increase of 68.1 per cent or an average annual increase of about 1.54 per cent.
  • India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 14.1 years between 1980 and 2014. The mean years of schooling has increased by 3.5 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.3 years in the same period.

Top Three Countries: Norway (1st rank), Australia (2nd) and Switzerland (3rd). India’s Neighbours: Sri Lanka (73 rank), China (90), Bhutan (132), Bangladesh (142), Nepal (145), Pakistan (147) and Afghanistan (171). BRICS Nations: Russia (50 rank), Brazil (75), China (90), South Africa (116) and India (130).

Indian States

This is a list of Indian states by their respective Human Development Index (HDI), as of 2008. Kerala stands first in Human Development Index among the states in India.

The national average HDI for India in 2008 was 0.467.By 2010, its average HDI had risen to 0.519. UNDP, the sponsor of Human Development Index methodology since 1990, reported India’s HDI to be 0.554 for 2012, an 18% increase over its 2008 HDI. United Nations Declared India’s HDI is 0.586 in 2014, an 5.77% increase over 2012. As for the year 2015, HDI for India stood at 0.609.


Rank State/Union Territory consumption
based HDI
HDI 2015
1 Kerala 0.790 0.7117
2 Delhi 0.750 N/A
3 Himachal Pradesh 0.652 0.6701
4 Goa 0.617 N/A
5 Punjab 0.605 0.6614
6 NE (excluding Assam) 0.573 N/A
7 Maharashtra 0.572 0.6659
8 Tamil Nadu 0.570 0.6663
9 Haryana 0.552 0.6613
10 Jammu and Kashmir 0.542 0.6489
11 Gujarat 0.527 0.6164
12 Karnataka 0.519 0.6176
National average 0.513 0.6087
13 West Bengal 0.492 0.6042
14 Uttarakhand 0.490 N/A
15 Andhra Pradesh 0.473 0.6164
16 Assam 0.444 0.5555
17 Rajasthan 0.434 0.5768
18 Uttar Pradesh 0.380 0.5415
19 Jharkhand 0.376 N/A
20 Madhya Pradesh 0.375 0.5567
21 Bihar 0.367 0.5361
22 Odisha 0.362 0.5567
23 Chhattisgarh 0.358 N/A



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