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Human development report 2010 - 20th anniversary

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The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development
United Nations Development Programme
Publication Date: 
3 Nov 2010


The first Human Development Report in 1990 opened with the simply stated premise that has guided all subsequent Reports: "People are the real wealth of a nation." By backing up this assertion with an abundance of empirical data and a new way of thinking about and measuring development, the Human Development Report has had a profound impact on development policies around the world.

This 20th anniversary edition features introductory reflections by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, who worked with series founder Mahbub ul Haq on the conception of the first Human Development Report and contributed to and inspired many successive volumes.

The 2010 Report continues the tradition of pushing the frontiers of development thinking. For the first time since 1990, the Report looks back rigorously at the past several decades and identifies often surprising trends and patterns with important lessons for the future. These varied pathways to human development show that there is no single formula for sustainable progress -- and that impressive long-term gains can and have been achieved even without consistent economic growth.

UN HDI links:

- Human Development Index main website. This site features links to the current report in full, highlights and press releases, 20 years of reports, 40 years of data, video and interactive web tools

- Full 2010 report in pdf
"Markets...may be an indispensable component of any economic system capable of supporting the sustained dynamism necessary for transformative changes in most dimensions of human development. But markets do not bring progress in other dimensions of human development, and the evidence suggests that markets are necessary but certainly not enough."(pg.61)
>> See pg. 53: The role of institutions, policies and equity
>> See pg. 61: The deeper story: markets, states and the social contract
>> See pg. 156: Table 4 - Gender inequality index standings
>> See pg. 192: Table 14 - Education index standings

- Canada profile

- Press release: Innovative new measurements chart impact of poverty, gender, inequality

- 20 years of Human Development Reports available:1990-2010
>> See especially Human Development Report 1995: Gender and Development

Media stories:

UN's development index proves it takes a village
Globe and Mail, 7 Nov 10

Canada drops to 8th in UN quality of life ranking
CTV, 4 Nov 10

UN: 'Significant progress' in human development
BBC News, 4 Nov 10

And the world's most gender equal country is....
UN Dispatch, 4 Nov 10