Brazil’s Human Development Index nearly doubled in 20 years

Ivan Richard - Agência Brasil 29.07.2013 - 18h26 | Atualizado em 05.08.2013 - 08h47

Brasília – In the last two decades, Brazil’s HDI (Human Development Index) nearly doubled, going from 0.493 in 1991, regarded as extremely low, to 0.727 in 2010, which stands for a high level of human development. The data are from the Atlas of Human Development Brazil 2013. The period saw a growth in the HDI of 47.5%.

The scale of the HDI ranges from 0 to 1, with the following interpretation: values from 0 to 0.49 are seen as low, 0.5 - 0.59 medium, 0.7 to 0.79 high, and 0.8 to 1.0 very high.

In 1991, 85.5% of the Brazilian cities had a very low HDI. However, this percentage dropped to 0.6% in 2010. While 74% of Brazil's municipalities have achieved a high or medium HDI, no Brazilian city presented an index below what it was in 1991.

The HDI is the result of an analysis of over 180 social and economic factors taken from the censuses conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (“IBGE”) in 1991, 2000 and 2010. The calculation of the HDI includes research from three areas of human development: opportunity to lead a long and healthy life (longevity), access to knowledge (education) and life standards that make it possible for basic needs to be satisfied (income).

According to the Atlas of Human Development Brazil 2013, put together by the United Nations Development Program (UNPD), in a partnership with the Institute of Applied Economic Research (“IPEA”) and the João Pinheiros Foundation, Brazil managed to reduce inequalities, especially as a result of the significant growth of less developed municipalities in Brazil’s North and Northeast regions.

“Brazil’s picture was very unequal. However, there's been a reduction. The inequality in Brazil’s Amazon region is huge, although on the wane. Brazil was one of the world’s most unequal countries. It still is, but there’s been an improvement. We can look forward to a better future,” said IPEA’s chairman and acting minister of the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs Marcelo Neri.

Editors: Beto Coura / Olga Bardawil
Translators: Fabrício Ferreira / Olga Bardawil / Allen Bennett

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