More Countries Have Increased their Human Development

From 1980 to 2013, a greater percentage of countries saw their Human Development Index (HDI) rise, a measure of human progress by the United Nations that reflects improvements in health, education, and standard of living. In 1980, Niger ranked the lowest of nations with an HDI of 0.191 and Australia ranked at the top with 0.841. By 2013, Niger pulled up to 0.337, mirroring the overall world trend as the HDI average moved upward. More and more nations rose in human development.

Distribution of the Number of Countries on the Human Development Index

Counting People, Not Countries

While the number of countries have risen in the HDI measurement, the improvement masks the fact that the world's population is unevenly distributed. China and India, which together has more than 2.6 billion people, make up about 37% of the world's population. The HDI scores for China and India are improving, but India in particular, with a 2013 HDI of 0.586 is home to many who still need to see progress.

Distribution of the 2013 World Population on the Human Development Index