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The development the globe over ...
The first Human Development Report (1990) introduced a new way of measuring development by combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income into a composite human development index, the HDI (see box 1 below). The breakthrough for the HDI was the creation of a single statistic which was to serve as a frame of reference for both social and economic development. The HDI sets a minimum and a maximum for each dimension, called goalposts, and then shows where each country stands in relation to these goalposts, expressed as a value between 0 and 1.
The educational component of the HDI is comprised of adult literacy rates and the combined gross enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schooling, weighted to give adult literacy more significance in the statistic. Since the minimum adult literacy rate is 0% and the maximum is 100%, the literacy component of knowledge for a country where the literacy rate is 75% would be 0.75, the statistic for combined gross enrolment is calculated in a analogous manner. The life expectancy component of the HDI is calculated using a minimum value for life expectancy of 25 years and maximum value of 85 years, so the longevity component for a country where life expectancy is 55 years would be 0.5. For the wealth component, the goalpost for minimum income is $100 (PPP) and the maximum is $40,000 (PPP). The HDI uses the logarithm of income, to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GDP. The scores for the three HDI components are then averaged in an overall index. Refer to technical note 1 Technical note 1 HDR 2007/2008 [5,680 KB] for more details.
The HDI facilitates instructive comparisons of the experiences within and between different countries. [...]
Source: The Map Scroll
Read more: http://hdr.undp.org/external/flash/hdi_map/hdi.html