Mapping human development

Mapping human development

Mapping human development

Countries and ministries are now beginning to consider human development as an international and economic development paradigm., a website that carries reports on human development, defines its objective as ‘creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accordance with their needs and interests’. Since its launch in 1980, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources related to human development through its annual reports. Each year’s Human Development Report (HDR) is a great resource for statistical information on different aspects of human development.

The comprehensive stats and reports are available at These can be downloaded in a variety of ways either  by country, indicator or table. You can select a country to see all its data from the indicator tables or view the data by a specific indicator for all the countries. You can download the most recent HD report, in either excel or PDF format. You can also build your own tables by choosing the countries and indicators. Feel free to browse the Motion Chart – Human Development Index Trends (1980-2007) category to keep track of the changes in data and countries.

Developed by Indian economist Amartya Sen and Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, the United Nation’s Human Development Index serves as a measure for calculating a country’s growth rate. The traditional GDP measure was failing to do an accurate job of measuring a country’s progress and standard of living. So the HDI was first calculated and designed for UN countries in 1990. The data was later rearranged for  a website.

Explore the site

You can also compare all the indicators that feed the Human Development Index and track them for specific countries, from the year 1980 onwards. The HDI chart can be viewed in two formats —  countries as bubbles or within a bar chart. For example, if your interest is human mobility, migration data, and how and why people move, you will find the animated charts in this section quite useful. The charts highlight important trends in human movements through country and regional data.

Would you like to view human development in animation? You sure can do so on this website. If you wish to figure out the indices on your own, you can calculate HDR with the help of several tools hosted at en/statistics/data/calculator/. The results from these calculations make us appreciate the relationship between various indicators and their impact on the indices that are used in the report.

The website also offers world maps that pop up as bubbles. These maps offer the four statistical indices of the Human Development Report — all HDI reports from 1980 onwards till 2010, Gender-related Development Index (GDI),  Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), and Human Poverty Index (HPI).

The UNDP HDR website also hosts statistics related to climate change and carbon footprint data. You can explore carbon emissions data with the help of animated charts highlighting important trends in carbon emission.

A section hosted at  answers frequently asked questions about the Human Development Report. UNDP, which presented its first Human Development Report in 1990, is gearing up to release its 20th Human Development Report (HDR), later this year. To celebrate 20 years of recording human development, the site asks its visitors ‘What does human development mean to you ?’  If you wish to share your opinion on the essential elements of human development and how it has affected your life and your community, post your thoughts at ‘Let’s talk HD’ at http://hdr.