Cuba in the Human Devel­op­ment Index: Decline, Rebound and Exclusion

November 5, 2002 - 5:00 PM

Carmelo Mesa-Lago
Dis­tin­guished Pro­fe­sor Emer­i­tus of Eco­nom­ics and Latin Amer­i­can Stud­ies
Uni­ver­sity of Pittsburgh

For more than a decade the well known Human Devel­op­ment Index (HDI) have ranked 174 coun­tries in the world, includ­ing Cuba, based on socio-economic indi­ca­tors. Due to the severe cri­sis of the 1990s, Cuba’s rank fell from the 61st to the 89th place in the world. In the 1999 Report, how­ever, Cuba jumped from the 85th to the 58th place, and in the 2000 Report it fur­ther climbed to the 56th place. This mirac­u­lous leap could not be explained by the incom­plete process of eco­nomic recov­ery in the island. Sur­pris­ingly, in the 2001 Report Cuba was partly excluded from the HDI due to the “lack of reli­able data.” Mesa-Lago will fol­low the evo­lu­tion of Cuba in the HDI, that nation rank­ing in the world and Latin Amer­ica, and explain the rea­sons for the mirac­u­lous Cuban jump and its later exclu­sion from the HDI.
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