Human Development Report 2010

The Real Wealth of Nations – Pathways to Human Development, 20th Anniversary Edition

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The Human Development Report has had a profound impact on development policies around the world. 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. Looking beyond 2010, this Report surveys critical aspects of human development, from political freedoms and empowerment to sustainability and human security, and outlines a broader agenda for research and policies to respond to these challenges.



The advance of people

Thinking clearly about the future requires looking critically at the past. In this chapter and the next we assess the evolution of the dimensions of development included in the Human Development Index (HDI; health, education and income) and identify advances and setbacks. We find substantial progress but also considerable variability across countries and time. Progress has been extensive for education, somewhat less so for health and much more variable for income. Despite advances, serious inequalities remain. The gulf separating developed and developing countries is still huge, and some key aspects show no sign of closing.


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