The real wealth of a nation? Its people

Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Human Development Report 2010 (HDR), which highlights development gains over the last 40 years and ranks countries according to achievement, health, education and income. The report, titled “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development,” provides new insights into the trends and patterns of development and introduces measurement innovations on inequality, gender and acute poverty.

The report has been a staple for policymakers in the development community since it started in 1990. Its ultimate goal? Help advance human development by putting people at the center of the discussion and provide people with the right facts and figures on the issue. So, it’s no surprise that each annual report is guided by the simple notion that “the real wealth of nation is its people.”

In a nutshell, this year’s report shows that people are “healthier, wealthier and better educated” since 1970. In the past 40 years, average life expectancy rose from 59 to 70 years, primary school enrollment grew from 55 to 70 percent, and per capita income doubled to more than $10,000.

Watch the UNDP’s video above, which has some great insights on this year’s report or read a short summary of the report here.