According to the latest Human Development Index, people living in the very high human development countries can expect to live 19 years longer, and spend seven more years in school, than those living in the group of low human development countries.

Kyiv, 14 September 2018 Through its 2018 Statistical Update, UNDP presents the 2017 Human Development Index (HDI – values and ranks) for 189 countries and UN-recognized territories, along with the Inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI), the Gender Development Index (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and a section with five dashboards.

There remain massive differences between Ukraine and other countries in people’s well-being. A child born today in Norway, the country with the highest HDI, can expect to live beyond 82 years old and spend almost 18 years in school. While a boy born in Ukraine, can expect only to live to 63 and spend less than 12 years in school. While significant inequality occurs in many countries, including in some of the wealthiest ones, on average it takes a bigger toll on countries such as Ukraine with lower human development levels.

The overall trend in Ukraine is toward continued human development improvements, but with quite a lot of catching up to do: Ukraine rank 88th out of 189 countries for which the HDI is calculated – which however puts the country in the high human development category.

Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development:

i) a long and healthy life,

ii) access to knowledge, and

iii) a decent standard of living.

A long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy.

Knowledge level is measured by mean years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and access to learning and knowledge by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entry age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child's life.

Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2011 international dollars converted using purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion rates.


Ukraine’s HDI value and rank

Ukraine’s HDI value for 2017 is 0.751 which is however below the average of 0.757 for countries in the high human development group and below the average of 0.771 for countries in Europe and Central Asia.

Although, between 1990 and 2017, Ukraine’s HDI value increased from 0.705 to 0.751, an increase of 6.5 percent. Between 1990 and 2017, Ukraine’s life expectancy at birth increased by 2.3 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.2 years and expected years of schooling increased by 2.6 years.

More recently, Ukraine’s standard of living, measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita slightly increased by about 9 percent between 2015 and 2017. Through UNDP 2018 Statistical Update, a closer look at the HDI’s components sheds light on the unequal distribution of outcomes in education, life expectancy and income between gender across countries. 

Inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is an average measure of basic human development achievements in a country. But like all averages, it masks inequality in the distribution of human development across the population at the country level. This is the reason why in 2010 UNDP introduced the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), which takes into account inequality in all three dimensions of the HDI by ‘deducting’ each dimension’s average value according to its level of inequality.

Ukraine’s HDI for 2017 is 0.751. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.701, a loss of 6.5 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. Countries such as Kazakhstan and Russian Federation show losses due to inequality of 7.9 percent and 9.5 percent respectively.

While the Human inequality coefficient for Ukraine is equal to 6.5 percent, the inequality adjusted HDI falls to 0.701. Yet, Ukraine remains less unequal than some countries such as the Kazakhstan and Russian Federation, which respectively have larger gaps of 7.9 and 9.5 percent respectively. Ukraine inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI) thus reveals fewer inequalities in gross national income (GNI), life expectancy and knowledge level compared to some of its richer neighbors.

Gender Development Index (GDI)

In 2014, the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) introduced a new measure, the Gender Development Index (GDI) based on the sex-disaggregated Human Development Index, defined as a ratio of the female to the male HDI. The GDI measures gender inequalities in achievement in three basic dimensions of human development: i) health (measured by female and male life expectancy at birth), ii) education (measured by female and male expected years of schooling for children and mean years for adults aged 25 years and older); and iii) command over economic resources (measured by female and male estimated GNI per capita).

For instance, in 2017 life expectancy at birth was 76.9 years old for women compared to 67.1 years old for men. Ukrainians women seems to live longer but with less income than their male counterpart. When it comes to gross national income (GNI) women accumulate in average, less than US$ 6,082 compared with US$ 10,513 a year. However, mean years of schooling tends to be equal at 11.3 years in average for both men and women.

Overall, the GDI is calculated for 164 countries. The 2017 female HDI value for Ukraine is 0.746 in contrast with 0.751 for males, resulting in a GDI value of 0.993, placing it into Group 1. In comparison, GDI values for Kazakhstan and Russian Federation are 1.007 and 1.019 respectively.

Gender Inequality Index (GII)

The 2010 HDR introduced the GII, which reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity. Reproductive health is measured by maternal mortality and adolescent birth rates; empowerment is measured by the share of parliamentary seats held by women and attainment in secondary and higher education by each gender; and economic activity is measured by the labour market participation rate for women and men. The GII can be interpreted as the loss in human development due to inequality between female and male achievements.

Ukraine has a GII value of 0.285, ranking it 61 out of 160 countries in the 2017 index. In Ukraine, 12.3 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 94.5 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 95.6 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 24 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 23.8 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labour market is 46.9 percent compared to 63.0 for men. In comparison, Kazakhstan and Russian Federation are ranked at 43 and 53 respectively on this index.

Gender gaps in early years are closing, but inequalities persist in adulthood.

There is still much room for improvement with respect to gaps between gender. One key source of inequality is the gap in opportunities, achievements and empowerment between women and men. Worldwide the average HDI for women is six percent lower than for men, due to women’s lower income and educational attainment in many countries.

Global labor force participation rates for women are lower than for men 49 percent versus 75 percent. And when women are in the labor market, their unemployment rates are 24 percent higher than their male counterparts. Women globally also do much more unpaid domestic and care work than men.   

In Ukraine, although there has been laudable progress in the number of girls attending school, issues such as reproductive health, family planning, violence and socioeconomic empowerment of women remain particular challenges that undermine the opportunities for many young Ukrainian women and girls.

Looking beyond the statistics

“While these statistics present a stark picture in themselves, they also speak to the tragedy of millions of individuals whose lives are affected by inequity and lost opportunities, neither of which are inevitable”, said Achim Steiner UNDP Administrator. “On average, a child born today in a country with low human development can expect to live just over 60 years, while a child born in a country with very high human development can expect to live to almost 80. Similarly, children in low human development countries can expect to be in school seven years less than children in very high human development countries.”

 “Much of the world’s attention is on data that tells only a part of the story about people’s lives. For instance, it is increasingly clear that it is not enough simply to count how many children are in school: we need also to know whether they are learning anything. Focusing on quality is essential to foster sustainable and sustained human development progress”, said Selim Jahan, Director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP.

“While there is ground for optimism that the gaps are narrowing, disparities in people’s well-being are still unacceptably wide. Inequality in all its forms and dimensions limits people’s choices and opportunities, withholding progress”, concludes Mr. Jahan.

* * *


Anna Ortubia/ /+1 212 906 5964

Adam Cathro/ / +1 212 906 5326

ABOUT THE HDI: The Human Development Index (HDI) was introduced in the first Human Development Report in 1990 as a composite measurement of development that challenged purely economic assessments of national progress. The HDI covers 189 countries and territories.

Previous HDI values and rankings are retroactively recalculated using the same updated data sets and current methodologies, as presented in Table 2 of the Statistical Update. The HDI rankings and values in the 2018 Statistical Update cannot therefore be compared directly to HDI rankings and values published in previous Human Development Reports.

Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical Update

Full press package in all UN official languages

Briefing note for countries on the 2018 Statistical Update: UKRAINE

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Ukraine 
Go to UNDP Global