The Centre for the Study of Living Standards today released a major study entitled “The Human Development Index in Canada: Estimates for the Canadian Provinces and Territories.” The report is posted at http://www.csls.ca/reports/csls2012-02.pdf
This is the first study that has developed estimates of the Human Development Index (HDI) for the provinces and territories that are consistent with the official HDI estimates for Canada produced by the United Nations. Key findings from the study are highlighted below.
In 2011, Alberta ranked as the jurisdiction with the highest HDI in Canada, closely followed by Ontario, the Northwest Territories, and British Columbia. Nunavut ranked last, and Prince Edward Island second last.
The HDI is based on life expectancy, average years of education attainment, expected years of education, and Gross National Income. For both life expectancy and average educational attainment, British Columbia ranked first among the 13 provinces and territories and Nunavut ranked last. For expected years of schooling, Quebec ranked at the top and Nunavut came in last, while for GNI per capita, Northwest Territories was in first place and Prince Edward Island was in last place.
In 2011, Canada ranked sixth out of 187 countries in the HDI, behind Norway, Australia, United States, the Netherlands and New Zealand. This ranking however hides considerable differences within Canada. The top four jurisdictions in Canada would rank third in the international rankings, between Australia and the United States and the Netherlands. Nunavut, with the lowest HDI among the 13 provinces and territories, would rank 38th internationally and second lowest Prince Edward Island 24th.
An analysis of the growth rate of the HDI over the past decade gives a different story than the level of the HDI. Low ranked Nunavut fared best, with the HDI advancing at a 0.54 per cent average annual rate between 2000 and 2011. It was closely followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 0.48 per cent. In contrast Ontario had the slowest growth in the HDI of any jurisdiction in Canada (0.25 per cent per year), closely followed by Alberta and British Columbia (both at 0.26 per cent).
The report provides a comprehensive picture of developments in life expectancy, average education attainment, expected years of schooling, and Gross National Income per capita for all provinces and territories over the 2000-2011 period.
For further information, please contact:
Centre for the Study of Living Standards
710-151 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H3
The Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) is a national, independent, Ottawa-based not-for-profit research organization Its primary objective is to contribute to a better understanding of trends and determinants of productivity, living standards, and economic well-being in Canada through research.