Human Development Index: Success Of Human Development In Countries

The measurement of a country’s economic and social status is often considered one of the most critical and highly debated issues in regard to global and regional economic research. After reviewing the first few chapters of the required reading and learning the factors that compose a country’s socioeconomic status, the most effective and accurate measure is that of the Human Development index. The Human Development Index is one of the most used measures and is based on a concept of human development which involves both an economic dimension, measured by GDP per capita, and a social dimension, measured by life expectancy and the literacy rate. It was created by that of the United Nations Development Program. The Human Development Index is the best tool for measuring various economic measures in my eyes because it illustrates other factors that represent quality of life other than that of production and gross income.

The Human Development Index is a summary measure of basic success levels in a country’s fundamental dimensions of human development. The actual computed value of a country is a geometric average of normalized indexes of each of the life factors that are examined. Some of the factors that are considered include knowledge and understanding, a long and healthy life, and an acceptable standard of living. Furthermore. the health aspect of the Human Development Index is measured by the life expectancy, as calculated at the time of birth, within each country. Education is then measured in two ways. First the average years of schooling for citizens of a country and the expected years of schooling that a child has at the average age for starting school.

The Human Development Index is unique from other forms of measures in that it takes more factors into consideration and ranks countries differently compared to say that of just GDP. The level of GDP in a country is described as its ability to provide its citizens with proper opportunities to enjoy stable economic, social, and environmental conditions for the course of their life The Human development index was created in order to emphasize that expanding human choices should be the most important criteria for analyzing development results.. The Human development index can also be used to question national policy decisions, explaining how two different countries with the same level of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita can have differing human development outcomes. An increase in per capita GDP is regarded as a basic prerequisite for improvement in the living standards of a population. The United States currently ranks first out of all country’s throughput the world in regard to having the highest GDP. However, on the Human Development Index, the United States currently ranks thirteenth. This illustrates that there are other factors that are also important in determining a country’s world rank. However, the human development index is not an entirely a total measure of human development. It merely focuses on the basic components of human development and does not take into consider the number of other important components of human development. Another real-world example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Human development index is the comparison of Turkey and Chile. Turkey has an overall GNI per capita higher than Chile. However, Turkey’s life expectancy is almost four years shorter and its average years of schooling is 2.3 years less compared to the country of Chile. Overall, this results in Chile having a higher human development index score than that of Turkey. These differences can often create debate within government policy priorities. It creates a discussion for governments to decide which social and economic factors are more important than others. In my personal view, I believe life expectancy is one of the highest priorities as this depicts the overall health of a country.

Finally, the one factor that I really enjoy about the human development index is that the Human development index factors can be used by a specific country to break down important factors and identify possible problems. As an example, some nations have used different rates at different national levels instead of using their actual projected life expectancies. On the other hand, some countries have used average disposable income per capita instead of GNI per capita. The human development index can also be used at sub-national level to compare levels and disparities among different populations within a country, provided that accurate data is an available. The importance of internal disparities using the Human Development Index has created some policy debates in many countries. The human development index is a simplified but limited evaluation in regard to human development. 

The Human Development Index does not exactly reflect factors of quality of life, such as empowerment movements or it’s citizens feelings of protection. Examination and evaluation of a country's Human Development Index is best done in connection with examining these and other factors, such as the country's pace of economic progress, growth of employment opportunities and its overall success of initiatives taken to improve the overall quality of life within a nation.  

07 July 2022
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