1

Human Development Index (2019)

In 2019, the general panorama of the Human Development Index (HDI) shows a huge difference between the Global North and the Global South: the closer we get to the lower values, the bigger the differential between countries.

 

Africa remains the most fragilized continent, making most of the countries within the low HDI group (<0.554). The continent gathers the three countries with the least satisfactory results: Chad (0.398), Central African Republic (0.397) and Niger (0.394). Regarding the Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP), Cape Verde (0.665), São Tomé and Príncipe (0.625) and Angola (0.581) reach a medium HDI level (0.555-0.699), whereas Guinea-Bissau (0.480) and Mozambique (0.456) remain with a low HDI level.

On the other hand, Europe continues to achieve the highest records in this indicator, leading the table with Norway (0.957), Ireland (0.955) and Switzerland (0.955). The European country with the lowest achievement is Moldova (0.750), which is still included in the high HDI category (0.700-0.799). In 2019, Portugal consolidated its 38th position with a
development value of 0.864, remaining in the list of 66 countries with very high HDI. It is important to point out the positive increase of 4 countries in the very high HDI group in comparison to last year.

 

Table 1 - Human Development Index (2019)

wdt_ID Rank Country IDH
1 Very High HDI
2 1 Norway 0,957
3 2 Ireland 0,955
4 3 Switzerland 0,955
5 4 Hong Kong, China 0,949
6 5 Iceland 0,949
7 6 Germany 0,947
8 7 Sweden 0,945
9 8 Australia 0,944
10 9 Netherlands 0,944
Rank Country IDH

Source: Human Development Report 2020 (UNDP)

 

The components of the HDI give an extremely unequal portrait of the world. In terms of life expectancy at birth, there is a difference of 18 years between countries with very high HDI (79.6) and countries with low HDI (61.4). Regarding the mean years of schooling, countries with very high HDI (12.2) and low HDI (4.9) distance 7 years from each other, with the component of expected years of schooling reflecting the same differential. Furthermore, the numbers of the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita reveal an unequal distribution of wealth in favour of the countries with very high HDI (44,566 PPP$): the value continues to be more than two times higher in comparison to the countries with high HDI (14,255 PPP$) and about 16 times superior in comparison to the countries with low HDI (2,745 PPP$).

Europe and Central Asia lead the HDI with an average value of 0.791. Thereby, the region is inserted in the high HDI category next to Latin America and the Caribbean (0.766), East Asia and the Pacific (0.747) and the Arab States (0.705). Sub-Saharan Africa (0.547) is the only region in the world with a low HDI average. In turn, South Asia (0.641) remains in
the medium HDI.

 

Table 2 - Human Development Index (HDI) and its components (2019)

wdt_ID Category HDI Life expectancy at birth Expected years of schooling Mean years of schooling Gross National Income per capita (PPP$)
1 HDI
2 Very High HDI 0,898 79,6 16,3 12,2 44 566
3 High HDI 0,753 75,3 14,0 8,4 14 255
4 Medium HDI 0,631 69,3 11,5 6,3 6 153
5 Low HDI 0,513 61,4 9,4 4,9 2 745
7 Regions
8 Arab States 0,705 72,1 12,1 7,3 14 869
9 East Asia and the Pacific 0,747 75,4 13,6 8,1 14 710
10 Europe and Central Asia 0,791 74,4 14,7 10,4 17 939
11 Latin America and the Caribbean 0,766 75,6 14,6 8,7 14 812
12 South Asia 0,641 69,9 11,7 6,5 6 532
13 Sub-Saharan Africa 0,547 61,5 10,1 5,8 3 686
15 World 0,737 72,8 12,7 8,5 16 734
Category HDI Life expectancy at birth Expected years of schooling Mean years of schooling Gross National Income per capita (PPP$)

Source: Human Development Report 2020 (UNDP)

 

In the last 29 years, the Portuguese HDI increased 0.146 points. The period of 1990 to 2000 was the moment of biggest growth, which translated in a general improvement of all components. However, since 2010 the evolution of the HDI has been slower (especially in 2015), what in part is explained by the effect of the GNI per capita component.

Since 1990, the life expectancy at birth in Portugal increased 7.5 years (in 2019, it was 82 years), the mean years of schooling increased 3 years (in 2019, it was 9.3 years) and the expected years of schooling increased 4.7 years (in 2019, it was 16.5 years). Finally, the Portuguese GNI per capita increased from 23,523 PPP$, in 1990, to 33,967 PPP$, in 2019. Portugal continues to distance itself clearly from the remaining countries with a very high HDI, particularly in the mean years of schooling and the GNI per capita.

 

Table 3 - The evolution of the HDI and its components in Portugal (1990-2019)

wdt_ID Year IDH Life expectancy at birth Expected years of schooling Mean years of schooling Gross National Income per capita (PPP$)
1 1990 0,711 74,5 11,8 6,2 20 109
2 1995 0,76 75,4 15 6,4 22 018
3 2000 0,785 76,7 15,6 6,8 25 510
4 2005 0,8 78,5 15,3 7,5 26 182
5 2010 0,822 79,9 16 8,1 26 318
6 2015 0,842 81 16,4 9,1 2 586
7 2016 0,845 81,2 16,3 9,2 26 521
8 2017 0,847 81,4 16,3 9,2 27 315
9 2018 0,85 81,9 16,3 9,2 27 935
10 2019 0,864 82,0 16,5 9,3 33 967
Year IDH Life expectancy at birth Expected years of schooling Mean years of schooling Gross National Income per capita (PPP$)

Source: Human Development Report 2020 (UNDP)

 

Updated by Tânia Liberato