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2011 Human Development Report

March 2, 2012

In November, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released the 2011 Human Development Report (HDR). The annual HDR features an updated Human Development Index (HDI), a composite statistic that measures a country’s development by considering life expectancy, educational attainment, and income. You can read a detailed explanation of the index here. Countries are ranked according to their level of human development and are labeled as experiencing very high human development, high human development, medium human development, and low human development.

The ten highest ranking countries are (in order) Norway, Australia, Netherlands, United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany, and Sweden. The lowest country in the 2011 rankings was Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It was followed by Niger, Burundi, Mozambique, and Chad. In fact, the lowest 15 states in the index are found in Africa. You can view a color-coded map indicating levels of human development in 2011 here.

You can also view some of the data yourself at the HDR website. There you will find country profiles, HDI trends, and comparative data on a variety of specific indicators like GDP per capita, Gender Inequality Index, life expectancy at birth, and greenhouse gases per capita. You can even build your own index here.

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