Human Development Report 2020

Human Development Report 2020: The Next Frontier: Human Development And The Anthropocene

The 30th Anniversary 2020 Human Development Report is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1990 as independent and analytically and empirically grounded discussions of major development issues, trends and policies.

About HDI Index 2020

  • The HDI is a combination of people’s life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling, mean years of schooling and a country’s gross national income per capita.
  • The Human Development Report Office releases five composite indices each year: the Human Development Index (HDI), the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), the Gender Development Index (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII), and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
  • Data used in these indices and other human development indicators included are provided by a variety of public international sources and represent the best statistics available for those indicators at the time of the preparation of the human development report.
  • By adjusting the HDI, which measures a nation’s health, education, and standards of living, to include two more elements: a country’s carbon dioxide emissions and its material footprint, the latest index shows how the global development landscape would change if both the wellbeing of people and also the planet were central to defining humanity’s progress.
  • With the resulting Planetary-Pressures Adjusted HDI – or PHDI – a new global picture emerges, painting a less rosy but clearer assessment of human progress. For example, more than 50 countries drop out of the very high human development group, reflecting their dependence on fossil fuels and material footprint.

Human Development Report 2020 (HDR 2020): Key Messages

  • The 2020 Human Development Report (HDR) doubles down on the belief that people’s agency and empowerment can bring about the action we need if we are to live in balance with the planet in a fairer world.
  • It shows that we are at an unprecedented moment in history, in which human activity has become a dominant force shaping the planet.
  • These impacts interact with existing inequalities, threatening significant development reversals.
  • Nothing short of a great transformation – in how we live, work and cooperate – is needed to change the path we are on. The Report explores how to jumpstart that transformation.
  • The climate crisis. Biodiversity collapse. Ocean acidification. The list is long and growing longer. So much so that many scientists believe that for the first time, instead of the planet shaping humans, humans are knowingly shaping the planet. This is the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans – a new geologic epoch.
  • While the devastating effects of Covid-19 have taken the world’s attention, other layered crises, from climate change to rising inequalities, continue to take their toll.
  • The challenges of planetary and societal imbalance are intertwined: they interact in a vicious circle, each making the other worse.

Global Launch Of The Human Development Report 2020

Human Development Index By Country 2020: Top 10 Countries

CountryHuman Development IndexPopulation 2020
1. Norway0.9545,421,241
2. Switzerland0.9468,654,622
3. Ireland0.9424,937,786
4. Hong Kong0.9397,496,981
5. Germany0.93983,783,942
6. Iceland0.938341,243
7. Australia0.93825,499,884
8. Sweden0.93710,099,265
9. Singapore0.9355,850,342
10. Netherlands0.93317,134,872

Click To Find Full Raking.

Remember This: This year’s index introduced a new, experimental planetary pressures-adjusted Human Development Index.

Planetary Pressures-Adjusted Human Development Index

For the first time, the United Nations Development Programme introduced a new metric to reflect the impact caused by each country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint, which measures the amount of fossil fuels, metals and other resources used to make the goods and services it consumes.

Norway, which tops the HDI, falls 15 places if this metric is used, leaving Ireland at the top of the table. In fact, 50 countries would drop entirely out of the “very high human development group” category, using this new metric, called the Planetary Pressures-adjusted HDI, or PHDI. Australia falls 72 places in the ranking, while the United States and Canada would fall 45 and 40 places respectively, reflecting their disproportionate impact on natural resources. The oil and gas-rich Gulf States also fell steeply. China would drop 16 places from its current ranking of 85.

China’s net emissions (8 gigatonnes) are 34% below its territorial emissions (12.5 gigatonnes) compared with 19% in India and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

India dropped two ranks in the United Nations’ Human Development Index this year, standing at 131 out of 189 countries. However, if the Index were adjusted to assess the planetary pressures caused by each nation’s development, India would move up eight places in the ranking, according to the report.

Planetary And Social Imbalances Reinforce Each Other

Next Frontier For Human Development Index

  • The next frontier for human development will require working with and not against nature, while transforming social norms, values, and government and financial incentives, the report argues.
  • For example, new estimates project that by 2100 the poorest countries in the world could experience up to 100 more days of extreme weather due to climate change each year- a number that could be cut in half if the Paris Agreement on climate change is fully implemented.
  • And yet fossil fuels are still being subsidized: the full cost to societies of publicly financed subsidies for fossil fuels – including indirect costs – is estimated at over US$5 trillion a year, or 6.5 per cent of global GDP, according to International Monetary Fund figures cited in the report.
  • Reforestation and taking better care of forests could alone account for roughly a quarter of the pre-2030 actions we must take to stop global warming from reaching two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

India’s Performance

  • India dropped two spots to 131 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) this year.
  • With a total HDI value of 0.645, India was placed in the ‘medium human development’ group alongside nations like Iraq, Bhutan, Ghana, Nepal and Cambodia.
  • Countries such as Sri Lanka, Maldives, Vietnam and China were part of the ‘high human development’ group. Malaysia and Japan made it to the ‘very high human development’ list.
  • The report said India had a life expectancy of 69.7 years in 2019, while that of Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan was 72.6, 70.8 and 71.8 years, respectively.
  • Nepal and Bangladesh ranked below India, at 142 and 133 spots, respectively, while Pakistan was placed at 154.
  • India in 2019 had 12.2 years of expected schooling, 6.5 mean years of schooling and a gross per capita national income of $6,681 (Rs 4.9 lakh approximately).
  • In 2018, India’s gross per capita national income was $6,829 (Rs 5.02 lakh approximately).
  • India was placed at 123 position in the gender inequality index.
  • The report noted that the labour force participation rate of women in the country was 20.5 per cent, while it was 76.1 per cent for men.
  • And only 13.5 per cent women held seats in Parliament.
  • India’s carbon dioxide emissions (production) index was 0.972, while its material footprint index stood at 0.970.
  • India’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita was recorded at USD 6,681 in 2019 on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.
  • The report also mentioned India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, and the nation’s pledge to reduce emission intensity of its GDP from 2005 level by 33-35 per cent by 2030 under the Paris Agreement. It also said that India ranked fifth for installed solar capacity.

Human Development Report 2020: Indicators: Click to find India’s performance on different indicators