June 8

A new indicator of human development at subnational level

By Autonomous University of Barcelona

The Human Development Index, published each year by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is the world’s most famous indicator of the level of development of societies. It shows for almost all countries in the world how they fare with regard to three key aspects of development: education, health and standard of living.

A disadvantage of this  is however that only national values are available, whereas, particularly within poor countries, there is huge subnational variation in poverty rates and in the availability of health and educational facilities. The farther one moves from capital and big cities, the weaker the educational and health facilities and the less the economic opportunities.

Advantage of the SHDI

A key step toward addressing this problem has been recently introduced. On May 31, a sub-national Human Development Index (SHDI) has been launched as a joint collaborative effort between the Center for Demographic Studies in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Global Data Lab of Radboud University. This index shows for over 1600 regions within 160 countries how they have fared regarding  between 1995 and 2015, the last year for which the UNDP has published the index.

Source: (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment
data, global development, Global Goals, poverty, SDGs, UNDP