Brazil’s Human Development Index (HDI) improved between 2002 and 2003, rising from 0.79 to 0.792. Brazil was 63rd in the World Human Development ranking, according to the United Nation’s (UN) annual Human Development Report, issued this week.
It occupied the same position last year. This HDI places the country among those at an intermediate development level. Scores above 0.800 characterize advanced countries on the scale of human development .
The index analyzes education, life expectancy, and the income of the population in 177 countries around the world. Brazil made progress in two items during this period: education and life expectancy.
The report shows that the life expectancy of the Brazilian population rose from 70.2 years in 2002 to 70.5 years in 2003. And although the percentage of illiterates 15 years old or more remained unchanged at 11.6%, overall enrollment in fundamental, secondary, and higher education increased 1% (from 90% to 91%).
The nation’s income did not sustain the positive results. Between 2002 and 2003 the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 1.6%. Nevertheless, the Presidential Chief of Staff, Minister Dilma Rousseff, affirmed that this situation should be turned around next year, ensuring an increase in Brazil’s HDI.
Between 1975 and 2003, Brazil’s HDI surpassed South Africa’s. Nevertheless, the country’s performance was worse than that of China and Malaysia.
“During this period, the Brazilian per capita GDP rose at an annual rate of 0.8%, as against 3.9% in Malaysia and a global average of 1.4%,” the Human Development Report points out.