The St Helena Statistics Office has today released updated estimates of the value of the Human Development Index for St Helena. It shows an increase of ten places in the last nine years, when ranked against countries around the world, moving from 93rd place in 2009 to 83rd place in 2017. In comparison, the United Kingdom was at 14th place in 2017, and South Africa was at 114th place. St Helena’s index value for 2017 is 0.756, which the United Nations classify as a ‘high’ level of human development.

The Human Development Index was conceived by the United Nations and is published each year as a method of measuring human development beyond the purely economic. It combines three dimensions of life – health (using life expectancy at birth), education (using average years of enrolment in full-time education), and income (using Gross National Income per capita).

The latest Statistical Bulletin shows that St Helena ranks around 50th in the world for life expectancy, around 84th for years of schooling, and 104th for average national income per capita. St Helena’s progress has been fastest for income, rising 23 places in the last nine years, largely due to the stimulus provided by the airport construction activity. But on the education dimension, St Helena’s rank has fallen 21 places, from 63rd in the world in 2009, to 84th in the world in 2017. Even though the value of the education index has risen slightly, from 0.699 to 0.704, this means that other countries have increased their years of schooling faster than St Helena.

The full Statistical Bulletin can be found on the St Helena Government website here:, detailed data can be accessed in Excel format from the ‘HDI’ file at:

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2 May 2019





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