The Human Development Index is an indicator that measures a country's degree of economic development and combines health, education and income measures. It was first published in 1990, as part of the United Nations development programme, and quickly became more popular than the simple comparison by per capita income, it being a more informative indicator. The underlying philosophy is to measure the capabilities rather than the achievements, based on the ideas of the Nobel Prize Amartya Sen.
Along this line of research, which Bancaja and the Ivie have developed since 2000, the human development series for Spain, its autonomous communities and provinces has been built following the UN standardized and established methodology. Also an alternative methodology for measuring human development of advanced countries, in a more appropriate way, has been developed. Currently the database covers the period 1980-2007 (2010 for Spain and its autonomous communities).
The structure of the database includes the following main indexes:
- Human Development Index (HDI): Data relating to the human development index and the three sub-indices that comprise it: a life expectancy index, an education index and a GDP index.
- Gender-related Development Index (GDI): Data on the gender-related development index and three sub-indices that comprise it: equally distributed life expectancy index, equally distributed education index and equally distributed GDP index.
- Human Poverty Index-2 (HPI-2): Human poverty index-2 data and four indicators that comprise it: the probability of not surviving to 60 years of age, the percentage of functional illiterates, the poverty rate and the rate of long-term unemployment.
- Alternative Human Development Index: Data concerning the alternative human development index and three sub-indices that comprise it: life potential per capita index, the percentage of working age population with non-compulsory studies, the welfare index (GDP per capita index deflated by Gini index).
- Alternative Gender-Related Development Index: Data concerning the alternative gender-related development index and three sub-indices that comprise it: an equally distributed life potential per capita index, an equally distributed index of the percentage of working age population with non-compulsory studies and an equally distributed welfare index (GDP per capita index deflated by Gini index).
As a result of the research, so far, the following two studies have been published with their respective databases:
- Human Development in Spain. 1980-2011. Released in 2013. This document analyzes the effects of the crisis on the human development indices as well as the effects of inequality. It includes methodological notes for the calculation of the HDI (UN methodology), the NHDI (HMV-2012 methodology) and national income (at market prices, INE)
- Poverty in Spain and its autonomous communities. 2006-2011. Released in 2013. This study offers a separate analysis of what happened in this period in terms of income and employment (material poverty and social exclusion) and in terms of health and education (life expectancy and drop-out rate).
- Human Capital Note Economic Crisis and Poverty. Released June 2014. Offers data up to 2012 on the Human Poverty Index and its variables. Revision of the whole temporal series.
- Human Development in Spain. 1980-2007. Released in 2010. This study offers a homogeneous series of all the variables involved in the construction of the indices, with a high level of territorial disaggregation.
- Human Capital and Human Development in Spain, its autonomous communities and provinces, 1980-2000. Released in 2004.
Also, in 2010 the document Desarrollo humano. 1980-2010 (Human Development, 1980-2010), was published. A guide on the methodological changes that have taken place in the United Nations 2010 annual report on human development. The document summarizes the main results by country and provides an in-depth look at the case of Spain.
Bancaja Foundation and Ivie (The Valencian Institute of Economic Research). Desarrollo humano en España. 1980-2010. May 2013. Database available online: http://www.ivie.es/es/banco/desarrollo_humano.php