Human Development Index (HDI), GDI & GEM


What is the human development index (HDI)?
The HDI is a composite index that measures a country’s average achievements based on 3 basic aspects of  human development: longevity, knowledge, and a decent standard of living.

Longevity is measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge is measured by a combination of the literacy rate of adults and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio; and standard of living by GDP per capita income.

What is the gender-related development index (GDI)?
The GDI is a composite indicator that measures the average achievement of a population in the same dimensions as the HDI while adjusting for gender inequalities in the level of achievement in the three basic aspects of human development. It uses the same variables as the HDI, disaggregated by gender.

What is the gender empowerment measure (GEM)?
The GEM is a composite indicator that captures gender inequality in three key areas:

• political participation and decision-making, as measured by women’s and men’s percentage shares of parliamentary seats;
• economic participation and decision-making power, as measured by two indicators—women’s and men’s percentage shares of positions as legislators, senior officials and managers and women’s and men’s percentage shares of professional and technical positions;
• power over economic resources, as measured by women’s and men’s estimated earned income (PPP US$).

How are the GDI and the GEM used?
To attract consideration regarding gender issues. The GDI adjusts the HDI for imbalances & inequalities in the accomplishment of men and women. An examination of a nation’s standing on the HDI and its standing on the GDI can show the presence of gender discrepancy. To show that gender strengthening does not depend on upon income, it is convenient to look at relative rankings on the GEM and the relative level of national income.For example,

• Poland ranks 25th in the GEM, ahead of Japan, in 44th place, yet income per person in Poland is about one third that of Japan’s (9,450 PPP US$ vs. 25,130 PPP US$ for 2001).
• The UK and Finland have very similar income per person (24,160 PPP US$ and 24,430 PPP US$ for 2001) yet in the GEM Finland ranks 5th, the UK 17th.
Both indicators can be disaggregated to highlight gender inequality within countries, which can vary widely across regions.