UN Report: 90% Countries See Decline in Human Development

    Photo: Getty Images [via BBC News]

    The Facts

    • According to a UN report published on Thurs., human development has declined globally two years in a row for the first time in 32 years, with nine out of 10 countries having fallen on the UN's Human Development Index (HDI).

    • The HDI was launched in 1990 to look beyond GDP as a measure of well-being and measures a nation's health, education, and standard of living. The latest report signals that human development has fallen back to 2016 levels.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This year's report is alarming, showing an unprecedented array of crises that has set human progress back five years. The findings highlight the dire need for a collective effort to address the current hardships, however, with fostering levels of global mistrust and polarization, this isn't likely.

    Narrative B

    While this report is certainly worrisome, it does represent opportunities for improvement in education, health, and technology sectors. The ripple effects of the pandemic are likely to continue, and similar reports should be expected, however, we can't lose sight of the global progress of the past decades. With a renewed sense of solidarity, we can get back on track.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the US will rank 31.2 on the inequality-adjusted human development index in 2035, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.

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