The list of countries, ranked by their anticipated Human Development Index (HDI) in 2010–2030, was published in 2010 by the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of its Human Development Research Paper Series. The Human Development Research Paper (HDRP) Series is a medium for sharing recent research commissioned to inform the global Human Development Report, which is published annually, and further research in the field of human development. The HDRP Series is a quick disseminating, informal publication whose titles could subsequently be revised for publication as articles in professional journals or chapters in books. The authors include leading academics and practitioners from around the world, as well as UNDP researchers. The findings, interpretations and conclusions are strictly those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UNDP or United Nations Member States. Moreover, the data may not be consistent with that presented in Human Development Reports.
For this Human Development Report Paper, the authors projected the HDI for every country which had a complete data series for the upcoming twenty years, whereas the HDI projection used projections of the components conducted by agencies that provide the UNDP with data for the HDI. The HDI list contains 81 countries, most of which are expected to have a "Very High" HDI by 2025.
In October 2009, the United Nations Development Programme published (in its 2009 Human Development Report) its last country list by Human Development Index (HDI), for 2007, classifying the countries into four categories, the first one of which is the group of countries having a "Very High" HDI. Half a year later, in April 2010, the Human Development Report Office provided the 2010–2030 HDI projections (quoted in September 2010, by the United Nations Development Programme, in the Human Development Research paper 2010/40). These projections were reached by re-calculating the HDI, using (for components of the HDI) projections of the components conducted by agencies that provide the UNDP with data for the HDI.
The HDI was projected for all countries for which there was a complete data series for the 2010–2030 period. For example, the HDI was projected for every "non-tiny" country (i.e. for every country whose population is more than 800,000), that had a "Very High" HDI (i.e. an HDI of 900 or higher), in the 2009 Human Development Report. The HDI was not projected for countries for which there was no complete data series for the 2010–2030 period; Hence, the projection ignores countries which are not UN members (Hong Kong being an exception), and also ignores all "tiny" countries (among which seven had a "Very High" HDI in the 2009 Human Development Report: Andorra, Barbados, Brunei, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Malta). All "non-tiny" UN members for which no projection was made, didn't have a "Very High" HDI in the 2009 Human Development Report, although ten of them had (in the 2009 Human Development Report) a "High" HDI (i.e. 800 or higher): Albania, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mauritius, Oman, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay.
According to these projections, Japan will lead among countries in the data set, with an HDI of 998 in 2030.
The projections suggest a possible future for the progression of HDIs, but are not designed to be predictive, as changes in condition and [in] policies will impact a particular country's HDI. Further, unanticipated "shocks", such as wars, economic sanctions, epidemics, and environmental calamities, may negatively impact the HDI, while other shocks, such as cures for prevalent diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, end of conflict, sudden dramatic investments in and take-up of education, can positively impact a country's HDI. Thus, the projections should be interpreted as what might occur, based on a past global experience with HDI growth, not a normative suggestion as to what will occur.
Also these projections are based on the old methodology for calculating the HDI value of a country. The 2010 Human Development Report, which was published in November 2010 (after this research papers was published), introduced a new methodology for calculating the HDI. Therefore these projections are inaccurate to compare to current HDI values.
Countries not included in the 2010–2030 UN projection
No projection was calculated for countries for which there was no complete data series for the 2010–2030 period (e.g. all of the countries whose population is less than 800,000). Among them:
Seven countries, which had a "Very High" HDI in the 2009 Human Development Report (for 2007), but were not included in the 2010–2030 projection survey (due to their being "tiny" countries, whose population is less than 800,000):
^Daponte, Beth Osborne; Hu, Difei (April 2010), Technical Note on Re-Calculating the HDI, Using Projections of Components of the HDI, United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report Office.