In 2019, Brazil retained its 79th position on the ranking with 189 countries organized by their Human Development Index (HDI). In Latin America, it ranks fourth, below Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. The increase was 0.001 point from the previous score. The nation was successful in curbing certain inequalities, but will have to tackle new challenges.
The HDI is based on three pillars seen as paramount by the United Nations (UN): health, in the form of people's life expectancy; knowledge, through the average number of years of study compared to the expected years of education; and living standards, which is gross income per capita.
"The index is relative to the changes taking place in other countries, which may cause it to go up or down. We should look at the progress made, which I see as positive. Brazil continues to make progress, though the economy is not performing as expected. Brazil's growth is solid, positive, and sustained," said UN Director for Human Development Pedro Conceicao.
Considered a country with a high Human Development Index, Brazil has improved both its life expectancy and its annual income per capita. The rate increased throughout the three last decades. From 1990 to 2018, the country went up 24 percent, higher than both the Latin American average (21%) and the global average (22%). Brazilians' life expectancy at birth increased 9.4 years. In the same period, people's average income expanded 39.5 percent.
There is still room for a significant growth in Brazil. However, even if the index skyrockets in the coming years, we will probably not be able to redress the "ingrained inequalities," argued Coordinator Betina Ferraz Barbosa, who presented the report. "Brazil ranks high, and may reach a new threshold. But have we solved the problem? No. We just managed to increase the contents of the small basket of development making up the index," she noted.
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