Human Development Index Essay

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Jorge Morales Econ 464 Prof. J. Gerber 19 February 2013 Human Development Index Countries in Latin America have been experiencing a constant change in the last century. Some of them have seen very noticeable economic increase and positioning in the global economy like Brazil, while other have been improving at a slower pace. Whichever is the case, what it is true is that Latin America is opening more and more to opportunities beyond the ones it has seen in the past. It is important to look at numbers to understand how these changes take place. In the past, GDP was considered a strong-enough indicator to explain development that was taking place in a country. Nowadays, there is more data to compare than ever before. This paper will compare and contrast information about three Latin American countries: Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil. The three indicators that I will consider in order to have a more reliable explanation will be those used by the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in order to get the HDI per country. The indicators will be Income, Education, and Health per country according to the data provided by the “Human Development Reports” (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/hdi/ -- Table 1). Mexico Income GDP per capita Mexico has seen an economic increase in the middle of its presidential election that took place during the summer of last year (2012). According to the CIA Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/), Mexico stands in the 83rd place compared to the rest of the world’s GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) with a $15,300 according to 2012 US dollars. This represents an increase over the GDP per capita reported for 2011, which was $14,900. Education According to the last census that took place in Mexico (2005), literacy rate is 86.1%
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