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ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

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or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2007/2008 Human Development Report

United States

The Human Development Index - going beyond income

Each year since 1990 the Human Development Report has published the human development index (HDI) which looks beyond GDP to a broader definition of well-being. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income). The index is not in any sense a comprehensive measure of human development. It does not, for example, include important indicators such as gender or income inequality and more difficult to measure indicators like respect for human rights and political freedoms. What it does provide is a broadened prism for viewing human progress and the complex relationship between income and well-being.

The HDI for United States is 0.951, which gives the country a rank of 12th out of 177 countries with data (Table 1).

Table 1: United States’s human development index 2005
HDI value Life expectancy at birth
Combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio
GDP per capita
1. Iceland (0.968) 1. Japan (82.3) 1. Australia (113.0) 1. Luxembourg (60,228)
10. France (0.952) 29. Korea (Republic of) (77.9) 17. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (94.1) 2. United States (41,890)
11. Finland (0.952) 30. Denmark (77.9) 18. Kazakhstan (93.8) 3. Norway (41,420)
12. United States (0.951) 31. United States (77.9) 19. United States (93.3) 4. Ireland (38,505)
13. Spain (0.949) 32. Cuba (77.7) 20. United Kingdom (93.0) 5. Iceland (36,510)
14. Denmark (0.949) 33. Portugal (77.7) 21. Estonia (92.4) 6. Switzerland (35,633)
177. Sierra Leone (0.336) 177. Zambia (40.5) 172. Niger (22.7) 174. Malawi (667)

Figure 1:
The human development index gives a more complete picture than income

This year’s HDI, which refers to 2005, highlights the very large gaps in well-being and life chances that continue to divide our increasingly interconnected world. By looking at some of the most fundamental aspects of people’s lives and opportunities it provides a much more complete picture of a country's development than other indicators, such as GDP per capita. Figure 2 illustrates that countries on the same level of HDI as United States can have very different levels of income.

Of the components of the HDI, only income and gross enrolment are somewhat responsive to short term policy changes. For that reason, it is important to examine changes in the human development index over time.

The human development index trends tell an important story in that aspect. Since the mid-1970s almost all regions have been progressively increasing their HDI score (Figure 2). East Asia and South Asia have accelerated progress since 1990. Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), following a catastrophic decline in the first half of the 1990s, has also recovered to the level before the reversal. The major exception is sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1990 it has stagnated, partly because of economic reversal but principally because of the catastrophic effect of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy.

Figure 2: HDI Trends

Building the capabilities of women

The HDI measures average achievements in a country, but it does not incorporate the degree of gender imbalance in these achievements. The gender-related development index (GDI), introduced in Human Development Report 1995, measures achievements in the same dimensions using the same indicators as the HDI but captures inequalities in achievement between women and men. It is simply the HDI adjusted downward for gender inequality. The greater the gender disparity in basic human development, the lower is a country's GDI relative to its HDI.

United States's GDI value, 0.937 should be compared to its HDI value of 0.951. Its GDI value is 98.5% of its HDI value. Out of the 156 countries with both HDI and GDI values, 106 countries have a better ratio than United States's.

Table 2 shows how United States’s ratio of GDI to HDI compares to other countries, and also shows its values for selected underlying values in the calculation of the GDI.

Table 2: The GDI compared to the HDI – a measure of gender disparity
GDI as % of HDI Life expectancy at birth
Combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio

Female as % male Female as % male
1. Maldives (100.4%) 1. Russian Federation (123.1%) 1. United Arab Emirates (126.0%)
105. Lesotho (98.6%) 85. Turkey (107.0%) 20. Cuba (110.2%)
106. United Arab Emirates (98.5%) 86. Comoros (107.0%) 21. Russian Federation (110.2%)
107. United States (98.5%) 87. United States (107.0%) 22. United States (109.9%)
108. Bangladesh (98.5%) 88. Bolivia (106.8%) 23. Bahrain (109.5%)
109. Zimbabwe (98.5%) 89. Macedonia (TFYR) (106.8%) 24. Panama (109.5%)
156. Yemen (92.7%) 194. Niger (96.9%) 194. Afghanistan (55.3%)

The gender empowerment measure (GEM) reveals whether women take an active part in economic and political life. It tracks the share of seats in parliament held by women; of female legislators, senior officials and managers; and of female professional and technical workers- and the gender disparity in earned income, reflecting economic independence. Differing from the GDI, the GEM exposes inequality in opportunities in selected areas.

United States ranks 15th out of 93 countries in the GEM, with a value of 0.762.

Fighting climate change

As a result of past emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), the world is now on course for future climate change. This year’s Human Development Report identifies 2ºC as the threshold above which irreversible and dangerous climate change will become unavoidable. It also explains why we have less than a decade to change course and start living within a sustainable global carbon budget identified at 14.5 gigatonnes of CO2 (Gt CO2) per annum for the remainder of the 21st Century. Currently, emissions are running at twice this level. If these trends continue, the carbon budget will be set for expiry during the 2030's, setting in motion processes that can lead to temperature increases of 5ºC or above by the end of this century---roughly similar to temperature changes since the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

With 4.6% of the world's population, United States accounts for 20.9% of global emissions - an average of 20.6 tonnes of CO2 per person. These emission levels are above those of High-income OECD (table 3). If all countries in the world were to emit CO2 at levels similar to United States's, we would exceed our sustainable carbon budget by approximately 826%.

High-income OECD countries meanwhile lead the league of "CO2 transgressors". With just 15% of the world’s population, they account for almost half of all emissions. If the entire world emitted like High-income OECD countries -an average of 13.2 tonnes of CO2 per person, we would be emitting 6 times our sustainable carbon budget.

United States has signed but not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

Table 3: Carbon dioxide emissions

Total emissions
CO2 emissions annual change
CO2 emissions share of world total
Population share
CO2 emissions per capita
CO2 emitters 1990 2004 1990-2004 1990 2004 2004 1990 2004
United States 4,818.3 6,045.8 1.8 21.2 20.9 4.6 19.3 20.6
China 2,398.9 5,007.1 7.8 10.6 17.3 20.2 2.1 3.8
Russian Federation 1,984.1 1,524.1 -1.9 8.8 5.3 2.2 13.4 10.6
Japan 1,070.7 1,257.2 1.2 4.7 4.3 2.0 8.7 9.9
Portugal 42.3 58.9 2.8 0.2 0.2 0.2 4.3 5.6
Switzerland 42.7 40.4 -0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 6.2 5.4
Luxembourg 9.9 11.3 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 25.9 25.0
Global aggregates
High-income OECD 10,055.4 12,137.5 1.5 44.3 41.9 14.3 12.0 13.2
Low human development 77.6 161.7 7.7 0.3 0.6 7.8 0.3 0.3
World 22,702.5 28,982.7 2.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 4.3 4.5

sorry, these tables are too wide for my page. try this link to the original.

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