Construction of the SHDI and SGDI Indices

Our Subnational Human Development Index (SHDI) and Subnational Gender Development Index (SGDI) are a translation of the UNDP’s official HDI and GDI ( to the subnational level.

The SHDI is an average of the subnational values of three dimensions: education, health and standard of living.

At the national level, these dimensions are measured with the following indicators:

To construct the SHDI, we computed the subnational variation in these indicators and applied it to their national values derived from the UNDP ( For computing the subnational values, indicators are derived from the Area Database for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and statistical offices for high-income countries (HICs).

Because life expectancy and Gross National Income per capita (GNIc) are not readily available in household surveys and census datasets they are estimated on the basis of data on under-five mortality and household wealth. To measure household wealth, the International Wealth Index (IWI) was used.

Detailed information on the construction of the SHDI Database can be found in: