Human Development: Lights and Shadows in the Region

At the end of 2020, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador remained at the bottom of the Human Development Index ranking, while Costa Rica and Panama were better evaluated.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The report entitled The Next Frontier, Human Development and the Anthropocene, which was published on December 15, 2020 at the global level, updates the Human Development Index (HDI) that is calculated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

According to the latest world ranking, Honduras was the worst qualified country in the region, ranking at 132nd out of 189 nations evaluated. Nicaragua was positioned at 128, Guatemala at 127 and El Salvador at 124.

Costa Rica and Panama are the ones that show the best results, since they were placed in the 62nd and 57th positions, respectively. See the complete UNDP report.

Luis Felipe Lopez Calva, UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, told that this is a moment in which "... the world is facing the pandemic, and other challenges related to climate change, the reflection of human pressure on the planet that drives a dangerous change arises, it is there where they talk about the Anthropocene, a new geological era in which human activity shapes the dynamics of nature and interacts with it, and tries to use resources more efficiently."

The article adds that "... in addition to presenting the HDI of the countries, this year's report also proposes a way to measure it according to this new logic, it is an index adjusted to the effect on the planet based on two central elements: energy consumption - measurement of emissions - and use of natural resources."

In this sense, the "State of the Nation 2020" report, which analyzes the situation in Costa Rica, states that at this critical juncture, "... serious risks are involved for the sustainability of human development, Costa Rica has gone through a serious crisis that threatens historical achievements of that development. This is, in summary, the central difference between the situation the nation was in a year ago and the one it is in today, as a result of the most serious productive, fiscal and social shock since the 1980s and, depending on what happens in the coming months, of modern national history". See the State of the Nation report.

More on this topic

Central America: Report on Human Capital

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Although improvements have been noted, the region's human resources are still far from achieving the level necessary to sustain competitive economies at the global level.

The Human Capital Index, constructed by the World Economic Forum, provides a long-term focus on how nations are developing their human capital and establishing workforces prepared for the demands of the increasingly competitive global economy.

Central America Falls Behind in Human Development

November 2011

Out of all the countries on the isthmus, only Panama’s Human Development Index follows the upward trend set by Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since the 1990 publication of the Human Development Index (HDI), the number has shown an upward trend for the vast majority of nations.

Human Development Report 2011

November 2011

According to the UN Development Program (UNDP) index, within Central America Panama comes first at no. 58 followed by Costa Rica (69), El Salvador (105), Honduras (121), Nicaragua (129) and Guatemala at no. 131.

While Panama's ranking has moved up one spot since the last time the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) was published, Costa Rica and Honduras have slipped back a place.

Central America Improving... Less Than The Rest

November 2010

In the Global Human Development Index 2010, Panama is ranked 54, Costa Rica 62, El Salvador 90, Honduras 106, Nicaragua and Guatemala 115 and 116 respectively.

The Central American countries, like others in Latin America, continue to improve in most variables measuring human development and the HDI Program published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).