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The Gender-related Development Index (GDI) is an indication of the standard of living in a country, developed by the United Nations (UN). It is one of the five indicators used by the United Nations Development Programme in its annual Human Development Report. It aims to show the inequalities between men and women in the following areas: long and healthy life, knowledge, and a decent standard of living.

Contents

Methodology

Calculating the GDI involves three steps. Step 1: Unit-free indices between 0 and 1 are calculated for females and males in each of the following areas:

  1. life expectancy,
  2. education (the adult literacy rate and the combined primary to tertiary gross enrollment ratio),
  3. estimated earned income (at purchasing power parity US$).
  • Female Life Expectancy Index = \frac{\mbox{female life expectancy} - 27.5} {87.5-27.5}
  • Male Life Expectancy Index = \frac{\mbox{male life expectancy} - 22.5} {82.5-22.5}
  • Female & Male Education Indices =  \frac{2} {3}\frac{\mbox{adult literacy rate of gender}} {100}+ \frac{1} {3}\frac{\mbox{gross enrollment rate of gender}} {100}
  • Female & Male Income Indices = \frac{log(\mbox{earned income of gender}) - log(100)} {log(40,000)-log(100)}

Step 2: For each area, the pair of gender indices, are combined into an Equally Distributed Index that rewards gender equality and penalizes inequality. It is calculated as the harmonic mean of the two indices.

  • Equally Distributed index = \left(\frac{\mbox{female share of population}}{\mbox{female-index}}+\frac{\mbox{male share of population}}{\mbox{male-index}}\right)^{-1}

Step 3: The GDI is the unweighted average of the three Equally Distributed Indices: Equally distributed life expectancy index, Equally distributed education index, Equally distributed income index

Statistical concerns

It should be noted that the UN uses a different standard for male and female life expectancy, basically assuming that it is natural that women should live about 5 years longer than men. If the life expectancy index was set at an equal age of 85 years, the GDI calculated would increase, reflecting the superior life expectancy of women in almost all countries. Just replace 87.5 years and 82.5 years with 85.0 years and replace 27.5 years and 22.5 years with 25.0 years to equalize it. Iceland, for example, would have a GDI of 0.992 instead of 0.962 under this method. The cause of the disparity in life expectancy between men and women is not completely understood. some of the academic considerations are listed here.

2007/8 report

Results of the GDI for years 2007/2008 for 177 countries can be found in the UNDP's GDI report

Results and ranking from the 2009 report: GDI 2009

See also

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