Human Development Index

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A composite index used by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that combines indicators on three dimensions: longevity (life expectancy); knowledge (adult literacy rate and average years of schooling); and income (real gross domestic product per capita in purchasing power). The validity of this index is difficult to assess because it attempts to combine three sets of variables in a unidimensional scale, but it may be useful in providing an annual comparison of the health and economic status of regions and nations that can generate discussions about policies affecting health and the economy. The Index is discussed in the 2003 UNDP annual report at http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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