Explore this online mapping on a broad range of issues essential for the well-being of New Yorkers created by Measure of America:*36047015900*ahdi_puma!undefined!ns*!other_pop_cd_506~ahdi_puma_1~sch_enrol_cd_112~age_pyramid_male_85_plus_cd_20~median_household_income_puma_397~median_personal_earnings_puma_400~dis_y_perc_puma_102~poverty_ceo_cd_417~unemployment_cd_408~pre_k_cd_107!*air_qual_cd~ahdi_puma*family_homeless_cd_245#10/40.8273/-73.9586 Photo: DATA2GO.NYC

Opportunity Index 2015

The Opportunity Index, developed by Measure of America and Opportunity Nation, uses 16 indicators to measure opportunities in every American state. Click on the link below to explore it: Opportunity Index 2015

The Well-O-Meter™

You want to measure your own Human Development Level? Use Well-O-Meter and click on the link below to begin: The Well-O-Meter™

Atlas of Human Development in Brazil

Explore human development in Brazil with this atlas. You can also create your own maps and charts! Click on the link below to begin:   Photo: Atlas of Human development in Brazil

The Pursuit of Happiness: paying greater attention to Mental Health

Sunday marks the United Nations’ 5th International Day of Happiness. Few people are against the pursuit of happiness, but many argue that governments – and international organisations for that matter – have no business in setting happiness as a public policy goal. And yet leaders around the world, from France to Japan, Italy to Qatar, are increasingly paying attention to it. Bhutan has long advocated for the use of a Gross National Happiness Index to provide a fuller assessment of national development progress than what is captured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the US Surgeon General sees happiness as a part of the country’s public health agenda.   Economists and statisticians recognise that measuring happiness – or subjective wellbeing as it’s more accurately called – ...

A Hindu-Muslim Friendship That Helped Shape How the World Measured Poverty

One half of a friendship: Amartya Sen, the renowned Indian economist and a Nobel Prize winner, at a meeting in Brazil, 2012.  They were two young men studying at Cambridge University when they met in the wake of the bloody Partition of British India. One was a Kashmiri-born Muslim and the other a Hindu-born Bengali. But the two, Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen from India, soon formed an intellectual bond and deep friendship. “It was an autumn morning in early October 1953 and Mahbub — elegantly attired (indeed I would say, nattily dressed) — was walking rapidly down King’s Parade on his way to the first lecture of the term by the redoubtable economist Joan Robinson,” Sen recalled in 1998, speaking at a memorial service for Haq, who had died that year at 64. “I was also going ther...

Creative work

There is a charming anecdote about the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. According to the version our mathematics teacher in Istanbul told us, a class of high school students in Germany was misbehaving (much like we were), and to punish them, their teacher told them to add up all of the numbers from one to one hundred. One of the students— Gauss himself— suddenly realized that the sum of the first and last number, the second and second-to-last, and so on, was always 101. Noting, too, that there were 50 such pairs within the first hundred numbers, it took him two minutes to work out the total (5,050) and come up with his famous formula to find it— saving him hours, possibly even days of calculations. To me, this story is not just about mathematics, but about creativity and “creativ...

Multidimensional Poverty Index

  Read the full explanation of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) on the HDRO website:

Gender Development Index (GDI)

  Read the full explanation of the Gender Development Index (GDI) on the HDRO website and learn more about this index:

Counting what counts in development

To most people, “development” is best measured by the quantity of change – like gains in average income, life expectancy, or years spent in school. The Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of national progress that my office at the United Nations Development Programme oversees, combines all three statistics to rank countries relative to one another. What many do not realize, however, is that such metrics, while useful, do not tell the entire story of development. In fact, to understand how developed a country is, we must also grasp how people’s lives are affected by progress. And to understand that, we must consider the quality of the change that is being reported. When statisticians compare countries, they require commensurate data. To compare school attendance, for example,...

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