Skip to main content

Building a development database (Part 5)


  1. Go to the World Bank data site and add the figures for the Human Development Index to your economic development spreadsheet for the following countries.
  • Australia
  • China
  • Romania
  • Ecuador
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Uganda
  • USA
  1. Identify the elements that make up the HDI.
  2. Explain how the HDI figures differ from the single indicators you found earlier.
  3. Using the HDI data, produce a rank order list of the above countries. Comment on the differences is the order of this list from the one you found when you listed countries in order of the GDP per capita (PPP).
  4. To what extent is using a composite indicator, such as the HDI, better than using a single indicator when assessing the level of economic development.

By looking at this broader interpretation of development we can begin to consider such issues as:

  • Waste control and pollution
  • Poor water supplies
  • High real population growth
  • Living standards
  • Civil liberties
  • The status of women
  • Access to education


Pause for thought

What you would do if you were responsible for raising the living standards of people in one of the low income countries from your development database? You might like to try to decide on priorities and how these would be funded. Discuss your ideas with your fellow students.