Indicator of social development
|Indicator of social development|
Human Development Index - HDI - is a synthetic measure describing changes in the socio-economic development of individual countries. It is also described as an indicator of socio-economic development. This system was introduced by the United Nations to allow international comparisons. The index was developed in 1990 by the economist Mahbuba ul Haqa from Pakistani Pakistan. By developing this indicator, non-economic data, which were previously in the background when assessing the development of the countries concerned, played a more important role. Since 1993, he has been using it in his annual reports as part of the United Nations Program of the United Nations Development (UNDP). The HDI index in a much wider range than the GDP per capita index measures the real standard of living of people in the world. A more complete assessment of development is especially possible when other indicators recommended by the UNDP are analyzed with the HDI indicator, for example, individual areas (areas) of economic, social and demographic development, or data illustrating environmental pollution, personal security level (UNDP Report 2015, p. . 1). However, despite its high popularity, it is considered less credible than the Human Inheritance Rate.
To calculate the synthetic measure of HDI, measures are used that cover three spheres of life (health, education and income of the population). The following indicators are used to measure the HDI indicator:
- average life length
- general gross enrollment rate for all levels of education
- reading literacy and writing skills, ie illiteracy rate
GDP per capita in USD calculated according to the purchasing parity of the currency (PPP $).
The HDI value ranges from 0 to 1. The results obtained through the use of the Social Development Index allow to group countries into three basic groups:
- highly developed countries 0.8 - 1.0
- middle-developed countries 0.5 - 0.8
- underdeveloped countries 0.2- 0.5
The Social Development Index from 2015 includes 188 countries. In comparison to 2014, Poland has fallen by one position to 36th with the index equal to just Slovakia and Andorra. Lithuania and Malta are behind Poland. In the first place is invariably Norway, followed by Australia and Switzerland - these countries are among the most developed.
When calculating the social development index, there are many limitations and problems that may interfere with the actual level of the indicator. Such limitations include:
- problems with scaling and weighting of indicators included in the HDI
- lack of objective and accurately designated weights
- barriers to acquiring authentic data
- huge amount of data for verification.
- Education levels: This indicator measures the educational attainment of the population, including enrollment in primary, secondary, and tertiary education. It can be used to gauge the quality of educational systems in different countries, as well as to track changes over time.
- Health status: This indicator measures the health of a population, including life expectancy, infant mortality rate, and the prevalence of certain diseases. It can be used to compare the health of populations in different countries and over time.
- Employment: This indicator measures the employment rate of the population, including the percentage of the population who are employed, the unemployment rate, and the type of jobs held by the population. It can be used to gauge the economic health of different countries and over time.
- Income inequality: This indicator measures the distribution of income among a population, including the Gini coefficient and other measures of income inequality. It can be used to compare income inequality among different countries and over time.
- Human rights: This indicator measures the extent to which a population is guaranteed basic human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom from torture. It can be used to compare the level of civil liberties in different countries and over time.
One of the major advantages of the Human Development Index (HDI) is that it is a comprehensive indicator of socio-economic development, taking into account multiple aspects of a nation’s development. These aspects include life expectancy, educational attainment, and per capita income. This allows for a more complete picture of a nation’s development than other indicators, such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.
- It is a synthetic measure that allows for international comparisons of development.
- HDI incorporates data from a number of sources, including health and education, allowing for a more accurate assessment of a nation’s development.
- It is able to measure non-economic aspects of development, such as health and education, which are often overlooked when assessing a nation's development.
- It provides a more complete picture of a nation’s development than other indicators, such as GDP per capita.
- It provides an incentive for governments to invest in areas that are important for human development, such as health and education.
- It is relatively easy to compute, making it a cost-effective way to measure development.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a widely used indicator of social development, however, it is not without its limitations. These limitations include:
- HDI fails to measure inequality across different groups within a country. For example, it does not take into account the gender gap or ethnic inequalities, which are important indicators of development.
- HDI does not take into account the impact of environmental issues on development. For example, the destruction of natural resources or the effects of climate change, which can have a huge impact on development.
- The HDI also does not take into account the effects of poverty, which can have a significant impact on development.
- The HDI only measures a country’s average performance, but fails to provide insight into the performance of specific regions or populations within a country.
- In addition, the HDI does not take into account economic liberalization or other forms of economic restructuring, which can have a significant impact on development.
In conclusion, while the Human Development Index is a useful measure of social development, it is limited in its ability to capture the complexity of development in its entirety.
- The United Nations has developed a range of approaches to measure social development, in addition to the Human Development Index (HDI). These approaches include the Human Poverty Index (HPI), the Gender-related Development Index (GDI), the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
The Human Poverty Index (HPI), developed by the UNDP, measures the percentage of people who lack access to basic resources such as education, health care, access to clean water and sanitation, and adequate housing. The Gender-related Development Index (GDI) measures the gender-related aspects of development, such as educational attainment, health and life expectancy, and political representation of women. The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) measures the level of equality in economic activity, political participation and decision-making, and access to resources. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) measures poverty across multiple dimensions, such as health, education, living standards, and security.
To conclude, the United Nations has developed a range of approaches to measure social development, in addition to the Human Development Index (HDI). These include the Human Poverty Index (HPI), the Gender-related Development Index (GDI), the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). All of these approaches measure different aspects of social development, and provide useful insight into the state of social development in countries around the world.
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