UNDP releases updated human development index for 179 countries in the world
Bulgaria continues to be part of the group of countries with high human development levels, according the UNDP short report entitled Human Development Indices: A statistical update 2008 released today. There are 179 countries in this year’s HDI compared with 177 in last year’s report including three new countries. Bulgaria is ranked 56st with HDI value of 0.834.
Despite the fact that Bulgaria is ranked 3 places below what it was ranked last year (53rd position in 2007; 54th in 2006, and 55th in 2005) its HDI value is higher compared to last year (0.824 in 2007). Although it is very tempting to compare a country’s position in successive Human Development Reports, this is not recommended, remind UNDP experts. On one hand, the number of countries included in the HDI differs every year (this year they are 3 more than in 2007), and only this change could affect the ranking if nothing else changes between two reports. The HDI trends are a much more reliable source for analysis across time. According to them since 2000 Bulgaria is progressing constantly and raises its HDI values.
The HDI encompasses measurable human development aspects – life duration in good health (according to the average life expectancy); education (according to the levels of education and school enrollment), and a good life standard (according to Purchasing Power Parity and incomes). In no case the HDI is a summery measure for human development. It goes beyond the GDP to a broader definition of well-being. The Human Development Index is published every year since 1990. In 2008 the HDI is calculated on the basis of new measurements and updated trends for GDP per capita for the period 1980-2006, as per the World Bank methodologies.
As per the updated HDI, there are 75 countries – 5 more than last year – in the high HD category. Serbia and Montenegro are included as new countries for the first time. Iceland is still on the top of the HDI table, even though the country has been seriously affected by the global financial crisis. The leading position however is calculated on the basis of data for 2005 and 2006, two years prior the current financial crisis. Norway is ranked second, while it was on the first position for six consecutive years. Canada, Australia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden and Japan follow the two northern countries. Ranked from 174 to 179 (last positions) are Niger, Mozambique, Liberia, Congo, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone. Here is some data to illustrate where Bulgaria stands compared to some of the new EU member states: Slovenia is ranked 26st, Cyprus – 30th, Check Republic- 35th, Hungary – 38th, and Romania – 62nd
This year UNDP will not publish a Global Human Development Report, only an updated HDI. The 2007/2008 Report was entitled “Fighting Climate Change: Human solidarity in a divided world”. The next “jubilee” Global HD Report will be dedicated to migration and development.
More detailed information and analysis on the various composite components of HDI, graphics, statistical data for a particular country, and trends in HDI are available at the Human Development Report webpage: http://hdr.undp.org/
Questions and answers on Human Development Indices 2008: A statistical update