Malta has advanced five places over the past 12 months in the Human Development Report of the UN’s Development Programme. Last year, Malta was placed 38 in the index; the latest report put it at 33 out of 169 countries with comparable data.
Between 1980 and 2010 Malta’s Human Development Index rose by 0.6 per cent annually from 0.683 to 0.815 today. The HDI for Europe as a region increased from 0.534 in 1980 to 0.717 today, placing Malta above the regional average.
Malta ranks 22nd from 169 countries when it comes to life expectancy at birth.
The UNDP has published the Human Development Index each year for the past 20 years, listing all countries in the world on the basis of an index of progression/regression in human development in their countries. It covers 169 UN member states (out of 192). The remaining UN member states are not included due to lack of data. The basis for the report was 2008.
The Human Development Index for 2010 combined three dimensions:
A long and healthy life: Life expectancy at birth
Access to knowledge: Mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling
A decent standard of living: GNI per capita (PPP US$).
It is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is also used to distinguish whether a state is deemed to be a developed, a developing or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on the quality of life.
The most critical dimensions of human development are: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. Additional concerns include social and political freedoms. The concept distinguishes between two sides of human development. One is the formation of human capabilities, such as improved health or knowledge. The other is the enjoyment of these acquired capabilities, for work or for leisure.
Countries are listed according to four broad human development categories based on their HDI: very high, high, medium, and low.
The HDI trends tell an important story both at the national and regional level and highlight the very large gaps in wellbeing and life chances that continue to divide today’s interconnected world. The concept of human development is a holistic one, putting people at the centre of all aspects of the development process.