The 5 most and least developed countries according to the HDI

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The index measures, among other things, well-being, quality of life and freedom

The 5 most and least developed countries according to the HDI

In short, the Human Development Index (HDI) measures the well-being, quality of life and liberty of individuals belonging to countries belonging to the UN. For the UN Development Program (UNDP), the most important thing is how the inhabitant of a given country can freely expand their human capacities while living comfortably. To find out this, the HDI analyzes three aspects of human life: life expectancy and health, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. This index was created in 1990 to inquire about the quality of human life beyond the country's economy.

Leer en español: Los 5 países más y menos desarrollados según el HDI

Although, before, only the per capita income was measured, the HDI initially investigated and analyzed the quality of health and education services that people receive by country. Over the years they added several indices, such as gender inequality and multidimensional poverty. With the creation of this index, it is now possible to question with arguments the policies of countries that have a stable economy but a questionable standard of living. This set a strong statement: economic development is a means to human development and not the end.

For a country to be taken into account in this index, it must be part of the UN and have available the different data (female participation in politics, deserters from different educational stages, medical coverage, etc.) required by the UNDP. The data must be current, reliable and sustainable. Ideally, the data should be provided by international data collection agencies in cooperation with the corresponding national statistical authority.

The scale goes from 0 to 1, with 1 being the most developed possible and 0, total humanitarian chaos. The UNDP looks forward to the present, since, comparing the positions of ten years ago, there are 13 more countries in the high-development area (above 0.8) and 11 fewer countries in the region of sub-minimum development (below 0.555). In total 189 countries are taken into account.

The five countries that lead the HDI? Norway (0.953), Switzerland (0.944), Australia (0.939), Ireland (0.938) and Germany (0.936). The last five? Niger (0.354), the Central African Republic (0.367), South Sudan (0.388), Chad (0.404) and Burundi (0.417).

If we analyze the position of all the countries, we can find that at the top are the OECD member countries, then the remaining European and Central Asian countries, then the Latin Americans, followed by East Asia and the Pacific, located in the area of medium development (between 0.555 and 0.699) are the Arab States and Southeast Asia. In the end are the nations of sub-Saharan Africa. Of course, there are some exceptions, such as Haiti, but in general, these are the locations according to their continental positions.

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Is it surprising that four of the first five are European countries, while the least developed are fully African?

In Europe we can find medical coverage financed by taxes, education almost in its entirety public, from kindergarten to university, security, roads in good condition, freedom of worship, various work and artistic options, great offer of idle activities, among other things. In Africa, the statistics speak for themselves. While on average people in Norway study 12 and a half years of their life, in Niger barely two years. While in Germany the life expectancy is 82 years, in Burundi they are only 58 years old.

And Latin America?

The positions of Latin American countries vary a lot. The most developed Latin American country is Chile (0.843) located in square 44. The least developed is Haiti (0.478), ranking 168th. It should be noted that there are very few Central American countries that outperform the South Americans in this list. It is also interesting that Venezuela (78), with all that is happening, be considered the tenth most developed country in the region, above Brazil (79), Peru (89) and Colombia (90). For the Latin American case, we suggest studying in depth the contexts of the countries. Chile and Argentina, the Latin countries that lead the HDI, which are also quite close, suffered from inhuman right-wing dictatorships that, although they strengthened the economy enough, committed innumerable crimes against humanity against their fellow countrymen. After these dark stages, both countries went ahead not only in the economy but in terms of the human. Haiti, being a country eaten away by corruption, which continually has violent problems with the government and has not yet fully recovered from that infamous earthquake nine years ago, is at an inferior level of development.

LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Vergara

Translated fom "Los 5 países más y menos desarrollados según el HDI"

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