The Human Development Index: Objective Approaches (2)

  • Kenneth C. LandEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite social indicator/wellbeing index. Its intellectual/disciplinary roots lie in welfare economics, development economics, and the social indicators movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The objective of the HDI is to rank countries on a scale of human development conceptualized in terms of capabilities of humans within the countries to function. Because it seeks to be as inclusive as possible of the countries of the world, the general HDI is based on only four statistics measuring life expectancy, education, and income at the country level. The HDI and its associated Report have been calculated and published annually since 1990 by the United Nations Human Development Programme. In recent years, the general HDI has been supplemented with three specialized indices: (1) the Inequality-Adjusted HDI (IHDI); (2) the Gender Inequality Index (GII); and (3) the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).


Composite social indicator Wellbeing index Human development Mahbub ul Haq Amartya Sen Human capabilities and functionings Equal weights additive index Geometric mean index Human development rankings Human development trends Subjective wellbeing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Population Health and AgingDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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