Montenegro ranks 54th among 187 countries in “Human development”

Montenegro ranks 54th of 187 countries and is placed in the High Human Development category, according to the 2011 Human Development Report launched globally by UNDP.

Thus, Montenegro is behind most of European Union (EU) member states, including Slovenia (ranked at 21), the Czech Republic (27), Estonia (34), Slovakia (35), Hungary (38), Poland (39), Lithuania (40), and Latvia (43), Romania (50). On the other hand, Montenegro ranks better than Bulgaria (55), as well as Serbia (59), Bosnia and Herzegovina (74), and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (78), all of which fall in the category “high human development.” Norway is a country with the highest human development followed by, Australia, and the Netherlands, while Burundi, Niger, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo occupy the bottom positions.

UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) supposes that well-being depends on more than money, so it measures health and education alongside income. The aim of development is not economic growth for its own sake but rather creating an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy, and creative lives. Although Croatia’s performance is strong on two indicators (gross national income per head and life expectancy at birth), its position overall is weakened by attainments in education, including a mean of just 9.8 years of schooling for adults over 25.

Environmental equity for future generations

The Human Development Report 2011 titled Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All, argues that the urgent global challenges of sustainability and equity must be addressed together—and identifies mutually reinforcing policies on the national and global level that can spur progress towards these goals. It finds that societies with more equal human development achievement are better positioned to promote transitions to cleaner energy technologies, or to protect populations facing environmental threats like water pollution and acute climate shifts.

Throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, human development levels continue to raise, with greater equality than other areas of the developing world, the 2011 Report shows. This is particularly the case for public health and education.  However, the Report also warns that internal income gaps are widening in much of the region, and that environmental degradation could undermine hard-won progress. Many countries remain highly dependent on fossil fuels, and report high levels of energy efficiency (despite notable improvements during the past two decades). Relatively high levels of air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions, therefore result.

What is Human Development Index (HDI)?

HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.  As in the 2010 HDR a long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy, access to knowledge is measured by: i) mean years of adult education, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and ii) expected years of schooling for children of school-entrance age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entrance age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child’s life. Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2005 PPP$.

To ensure as much cross-country comparability as possible, the HDI is based primarily on international data from the UN Population Division, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank. As stated in the introduction, the HDI values and ranks in this year’s report are not comparable to those in past reports (including the 2010 HDR) because of a number of revisions done to the component indicators by the mandated agencies. To allow for assessment of progress in HDIs, the 2011 report includes recalculated HDIs from 1980 to 2011.


Note: It is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because the underlying data and methods have changed, as well as the number of countries included in the HDI. The 187 countries ranked in the 2011 HDI represents a significant increase from the 169 countries included in  the 2010 Index, when key indicators for many countries were unavailable.

Montenegro’s HDI value and rank

Montenegro’s HDI value for 2011 is 0.771—in the high human development category—positioning the country at 54 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 2005 and 2011, Montenegro’s HDI value increased from 0.757 to 0.771, an increase of 2.0 per cent or average annual increase of about 0.3 per cent. The rank of Montenegro’s HDI for 2010 based on data available in 2011 and methods used in 2011, is 54 out of 187 countries.

Table A reviews Montenegro’s progress in each of the HDI indicators. Between 1980 and 2011, Montenegro’s life expectancy at birth increased by 0.9 years.  Montenegro’s GNI per capita increased by about 24.0 per cent between 2005 and 2011.

Table A: Montenegro’s HDI trends based on consistent time series data, new component indicators and new methodology

  Life expectancy at birth Expected years of schooling Means years of schooling GNI per capita (2005 PPP$) HDI value
1980 73.7 .. .. .. ..
1985 74.4 .. .. .. ..
1990 75.5 .. .. .. ..
1995 75.9 .. .. .. ..
2000 74.9 .. .. .. ..
2005 74.1 13.7 10.6 8,340 0.757
2010 74.4 13.7 10.6 10,121 0.769
2011 74.6 13.7 10.6 10,361 0.771

Figure 1 below shows the contribution of each component index to Montenegro’s HDI since 2005.

Figure 1: Trends in Montenegro’s HDI component indices 2005-2011

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