The recent release of the UN Human Development Index findings may have come as a surprise to some; I doubt it though.
South Africa is now ranked 129th, falling from 85th in 1993. In 1993 we were classified as a developing nation, where developing nations were ranked from 56 - 111, out of 173 countries. In 2009 we were also classified as a developing nation, where developing nations were ranked from 84 - 158, out of 182 countries. Upon examination you will notice that we are moving towards undeveloped status, but at the same time the pool of developing nations has increased in size. This must make the UN feel good, as it appears as if countries are moving in the right direction. Of course it could all be spurious; life expectancies can increase as a result of outside intervention, and GDP per capita can increase due to increased multi-national corporation activity.
So is there any news here? Hardly.
The UN Human Development Index is an index that ranks countries according to their level of development. This index includes variables such as life expectancy, GDP per capita and educational attainment.
The UN, that bastion of liberal thinkers, believes that if you improve education, then life expectancy and GDP per capita follow. But I have briefly indicated some issues with the variables.
Being the one trick pony that I am though, I thought well how is it possible to achieve sustainable improvements, without outside intervention, if you have a low national IQ. Well it isn't. A political wobbly will upset life expectancies and any GDP gains made, as foreigners rush for the exits.
I then compiled a composite map (as above), with IQ/GDP distribution on the top, and the Human Development Index on the bottom (Click pic to enlarge). Surprise surprise, there are huge similarities. Okay, China has got a way to go, but it is a matter of time.
So my question is this; why bother compiling the HDI when it so obviously resembles the global IQ distribution, or is the UN engaging in a feel good exercise?