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Human development indices

Reader’s guide

Human development indices

The human development indices provide an assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development. Where possible the tables include data for 192 UN member states along with Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Because of insufficientcross-nationally comparable data of good quality, the HDI has only been calculated for 177 UN member countries plus the two areas mentioned. In the tables, countries and areas are ranked by their HDI value. To locate a country in the tables, refer to the Key to countries on the inside back cover where countries with their HDI ranks are listed alphabetically. Most of the data in the tables are for 2006 and arethose available to the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) as of 28 November 2008, unless otherwise specified.
Sources and definitions

tion about these indicators, please consult the relevant websites of the source agencies through the Human Development Report website at
Inconsistencies between national and international estimates

HDRO is primarily auser, not a producer, of statistics. It relies on international data agencies with the mandate, resources and expertise to collect and compile international data on specific statistical indicators. Sources for all data used in compiling the indicator tables are given in short citations at the end of each table. These correspond to full references in the References. In order to ensure that allcalculations can be easily replicated the source notes also show the original data components used in any calculations by HDRO. Indicators for which short, meaningful definitions can be given are included in Definitions of statistical terms. Other relevant information appears in the notes at the end of each table. For more detailed technical informa-

When compiling international data series,international data agencies often apply international standards and harmonization procedures to improve comparability across countries. When international data are based on national statistics, as they usually are, national data may need to be adjusted. When data for a country are missing, an international agency may produce an estimate if other relevant information can be used. And because of thedifficulties in coordination between national and international data agencies, international data series may not incorporate the most recent national data. All these factors can lead to substantial differences between national and international estimates. When data inconsistencies have arisen, HDRO has helped to link national and international data authorities to address those inconsistencies. In manycases this has led to better statistics becoming available. HDRO continues to advocate improving international data and plays an active role in supporting efforts to enhance data quality. It works with national agencies and international bodies to improve data consistency through more systematic reporting and monitoring of data quality.
Country classifications

Countries are classified in fourways: by human development level, by income, by major world aggregates and by region. These designations do

not necessarily express a judgement about the development stage of a particular country or area. The term country as used in the text and tables refers, as appropriate, to territories or areas. Human development classifications. All countries included in the HDI are classified into oneof three clusters of achievement in human development: high human development (with an HDI of 0.800 or above), medium human development (HDI of 0.500–0.799) and low human development (HDI of less than 0.500). Income classifications. All countries are grouped by income using World Bank classifications: high income (gross national income per capita of US$11,116 or more in 2006), middle income...
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