The Measure of America

The American Human Development Project has developed a website, Mapping the Measure of America, that measures the Human Development Index (HDI) based on a 10-point scale.  In other words, it measures the “well-being of America” based on 3 factors: health, knowledge, and income.  This offers an alternative to just analyzing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which focuses on the economy and not the people.  Trust us, it’s cooler than it sounds 🙂

Reviewed in Choice Reviews Online, S.L. Pham from the University of Pennsylvania explains:

“Data are displayed through interactive, color-coded maps of the U.S.  When a user scrolls over a state, a pop-up window appears providing a data set for that state.  This includes an overall HDI score and data on median earnings, education (e.g., school enrollment and educational attainment), life expectancy, ethnicity, and political makeup.  The Charts tab provides additional statistical indicators for each state in various categories, e.g., environment; housing and transportation; political participation; and security. . . Users can build their own statistical charts with a few clicks.  Data can be imported into an Excel spreadsheet.

The Stacks tab allows users to view different population groups in relation to other groups (e.g., gender and ethnicity).  Users choose a specific category (e.g., income), and the chart automatically adjusts to show how the groups rate on the 1-10 scale. . . The site is current with 2010-11 data, and data from 2008-09 are also available.  This resource is a very useful tool for finding U.S. social statistics in one convenient place.”

Play around with it – it’s definitely interesting.  See how Missouri stacks up against the rest of the country 😉


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