Human Development Index, Definition(s) of

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"The “good life” guide. Calculated since 1990 by the United Nations Development Programme, the Human Development Index quantifies a country’s development in terms of such things as education, length of life and clean water, as well as INCOME. Since the mid-1970s, the quality of life for humans throughout the world has improved enormously overall. America's human development index rose by around one-tenth between 1975 and 2001, for example. More spectacularly, during the same period, China's rose by around 40% and Indonesia's by nearly 50%. Even so, in 2001, some 54 countries were poorer than in 1990, and in 34, mostly in Africa and the former Soviet Union, life expectancy had fallen, reversing an impressive long-term trend, largely because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and crime. Some 21 countries had a lower overall human development index in 2003 than in 1990" (The Economist, n.d.)

Glossary Source: 

Human development index. (n.d.) In Economics A-Z: Economic terms, topics and jargon. Retrieved October 7, 2009, from http://www.economist.com/research/Economics/.