Chile ranks highest in region by UN’s human development index

UN study “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World” ranked Chile at 40 of 187 in terms of human development.

Chile has advanced to number 40 on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), according to the organization’s recently released study, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World.

The UN annually calibrates countries based on the parameters of HDI, a holistic measurement that incorporates statistics about health, education, and living standards.

Ranked at number 40 of the 187 nations included, Chile entered into the category “Very High Human Development” and was the highest ranked country from the Latin America. Argentina followed Chile closely at number 45. Most other Latin American nations were classified as part of the “High Human Development” category including Uruguay at number 51, Cuba at 59, and Mexico at 61.

According to the UN’s HDI reference, Chile’s has been steadily rising up the charts since 1980 when the organization first began its data collection. From 2010 to the recent study, Chile had advanced 2 spots.

The study detailed Chile’s improvement in HDI, explaining that it had, “encouraged investment and technological upgrading in sectors where the country had an intrinsic comparative advantage.”

Furthermore, the study noted the presence of state support that helped stimulate increase in HDI.

“With active support from the state, Chilean firms have had major success in expanding exports of processed agricultural food and beverages and forestry and fish products.”

Chile’s increase in ranking this year was part of a larger trend in developing countries across the globe. The study highlighted 40 countries that outranked earlier predictions for growth between the years 1990 and 2012. Alongside Chile, the study cited Brazil and Mexico from the region as well as diverse countries like Ghana and China that also followed a similar trend.

“This wave of developing countries encompasses countries with very different endowments, social structures, geography and history,” the study wrote.

Despite this difference, however, “they have demonstrated how pragmatic policies and a strong focus on human development can release the opportunities latent in their economies, facilitated by globalization.”

The full study The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World is available online.