World map indicating the categories of Human Development Index
by country (based on 2015 and 2016 data, published on 21 March 2017).
| Very high High
|| Medium Low
|| Data unavailable
World map indicating the Human Development Index
(based on 2015 and 2016 data, published on 21 March 2017).
| 0.900 and over 0.850–0.899 0.800–0.849 0.750–0.799 0.700–0.749
|| 0.650–0.699 0.600–0.649 0.550–0.599 0.500–0.549 0.450–0.499
|| 0.400–0.449 0.350–0.399 0.349 and under Data unavailable
This is a list of all countries by Human Development Index as included in a United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report (released on 2 November 2011, put together based on estimates for 2011. It covers 185 member states of the United Nations (out of 193), along with Hong Kong (of the People's Republic of China), and the Palestinian territories; 8 UN member states are not included because there is not enough data. The average HDI of regions of the World and groups of countries are also included for comparison.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard way of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an under-developed country, and also to measure the effect of economic policies on quality of life. The index was developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian economist Amartya Sen.
Countries fall into four wide human development categories, each of which has 47 countries: Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development and Low Human Development (46 countries in this category).
From 2007 to 2010, the first two categories was referred to as developed countries, and the last two are all grouped in developing countries. The original "high human development" category has been split into two as above in the report for 2007.
Some older groupings (high/medium/low income countries) that have been removed were based on the gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, and have been replaced by another index based on the gross national income (GNI) in purchasing power parity per capita.
The country with the largest decrease in HDI since 1998 is Zimbabwe, falling from 0.514 in 1998 to 0.140 in 2010. The country with the largest decrease since 2009 is Cape Verde, which decreased by 0.170.
Over half of the world's population live in countries with "medium human development" (51%), while less than a fifth (18%) of the world's population are in countries that are in the "low human development" category. Countries with "high" to "very high" human development account for less than a third of the world's total population (30%).