HDI/SDI Indices


… The income index here differs from that used in HDI in that it incorporates a sufficiency threshold below the HDI’s maximum value of $75,000 (2011$ PPP). This is because to achieve an income of $75,000 per capita is empirically incompatible with planetary boundaries. Nations with income over $60,000 have an average material footprint of 40t per capita (nearly six times over the planetary boundary) and CO2 emissions of 22t per capita (nearly 13 times over the planetary boundary). These levels of ecological impact are highly destabilizing and cannot be universalized. In this sense, the HDI income index effectively precludes nations from achieving very high HDI while at the same time remaining ecologically sustainable. …

… Importantly, high income is not necessary for achieving high levels of human development. While nations with high income generally perform better on key social indicators than nations with lower income, this relationship is not determinate after a certain point. There are a number of countries with moderate income that nonetheless achieve high levels of life expectancy and education, as well as happiness, employment, sanitation, gender equality, democracy and so on. For instance, Costa Rica has a life expectancy that exceeds that of the US with one-fourth of the income per capita ($14,100). Georgia has education outcomes that rival Austria with less than one-fifth of the income per capita ($8,800). …

… With this range of figures in mind, the SDI sets $20,000 as the sufficiency threshold on the income index scale, at a point above which additional income becomes unnecessary for achieving strong social outcomes. …



NRK article regarding the 2020 HDI report

NRK reported that Norway had dropped on the HDI index based on a misunderstanding of the 2020 report (with 2019 data). NRKs list came from the as of 2020 newly added “planetary adjusted” index; the PHDI - Planetary pressures–adjusted Human Development Index.

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