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The Human Development Report is an annual report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Human Development Reports have been produced annually since 1990. The first report was overseen by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who placed people at the center of the development process.

The latest edition of the Human Development Report, entitled ‘Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century’, was published in 2019. It sheds light on the notion that the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, and that the necessities to thrive have evolved.

However, the report argues that inequality is the ‘connecting thread’ between protests that erupted across the world in 2019, in countries as diverse as Chile, France and Lebanon.

Whilst unprecedented progress has been made on tackling poverty, hunger and disease, since the first report in 1990, the 2019 report argues that a new generation of inequalities is opening up, around education, and around technology and climate change – two seismic shifts that, unchecked, could trigger a ‘new great divergence’ in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

The 2019 HDR report is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian. Further overviews are available in Turkish, German and Bengali.


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