Urbis Think Tank
Human Development Index showed Australia no. 2 and Libya rising. What next?
Each year, the United Nations publishes the Human Development Report. In its 20th anniversary publication late in 2010, Australia had risen to no. 2 on the Human Development Index (HDI), behind only Norway.
There is a lot of interest in measures of wellbeing, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Treasury are both reviewing their measures at the moment. The Human Development Report also stimulated an interesting commentary from Freakonomics, that you can access here. Both agree that measures such as the HDI are at least an important supplement to the economic measure of GDP that we focus on so often.
These measurements are relevant for economic as well as social purposes. Consider the case of Libya. Over the past 30 years, Libya has steadily increased and is now in the second category of countries (”High Human Development”). It is no surprise that this has coincided with Urbis International Property Economics having conducted retail projects in Libya quite recently.
So, which way will Libya turn at the conclusion of the current conflict? The chart shows two stark realities of countries that have coped with enormous human conflict over the past decades. Rwanda suffered a genocide, and yet the past decade has seen a steady rise in the Rwandan HDI. In contrast, the Mugabe regime has caused Zimbabwe to plummet to the clear bottom of the rankings.