2013 Gender Inequality Index

The U.N. (Development Program) released the 2014 Human Development Report (and the 2013 Human Development Index within it) a few weeks ago on or around July 24, 2014. It incorporates data from 2013 for the latest Gender Inequality Index on pages 172-175 in Table 4. This index reflects gender inequality along three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and the labor market – as rated by five indicators: both maternal mortality ratio and adolescent fertility rate for reproductive health, both shares of parliamentary seats and population with at least secondary education for empowerment, and labor force participation rates for the labor market.


This year, all 187 countries ranked in the 2013 Human Development Index are also ranked in the 2013 Gender Inequality Index. The U.S. ranks #47 (down from 42 last year), the U.K. ranks #35 (down from 34 last year), Canada ranks #23 (down from 18 from last year), Australia ranks #19 (down from 17 from last year), New Zealand ranks #34 (down from 31 from last year), and South Africa ranks #94 (down from 90 from last year).


Also out of those 187 countries (for the 2013 Gender Inequality Index…), Slovenia ranks #1 (up from 8), Switzerland ranks #2 (up from 3), Germany ranks #3 (up from 6), Sweden ranks #4 (down from 2), Denmark ranks #5 (down from 3 formerly with Switzerland), Austria also ranks #5 (up from 14), Netherlands ranks #7 (down from #1), Italy ranks #8 (up from 11), Belgium ranks #9 (up from 12), Norway also ranks #9 (down from 5), Finland ranks #11 (down from #6), and France ranks #12 (down from 9).


In addition, out of those 187 countries (for the 2013 Gender Inequality Index…), India ranks #127 (up from 132), Saudi Arabia ranks #56 (seemingly up from 145 – is that right?), Afghanistan ranks #169 (down from 147), and Yemen ranks #152 (down from 148).


Click here for a PDF of the full 2014 Human Development Report (with the Gender Inequality Index on pp. 172-175).

Click here for a more detailed account of the Gender Inequality Index that includes indicator data (for 2013 and also for some earlier grouped years).

Click here for a webpage that contains some frequently asked questions and answers about the UNDP Gender Inequality Index.

Click here and scroll down to “technical note 3” on pages 5-6 for a PDF file that provides details on how the Gender Inequality Index is calculated.


Unfortunately, the UNDP seems frequently to delete and/or change the URLs/web-addresses for the aforementioned links. Please report any changes (or updates!) in the comments and I will try to update accordingly.

Click here for links on/for the 2012 Gender Inequality Index


What do readers think? All sorts of data here for all sorts of comments…

2 thoughts on “2013 Gender Inequality Index

  1. Thanks so much for posting and analyzing the data. Saudi Arabia: women can both run for office and vote beginning in 2015 — might explain the huge leap forward.

  2. You are of course very welcome Jackie. And thank you for the apposite reminder of that particular glimmer of hope regarding Saudi Arabia. We noted, and many questioned, it as indicated toward the bottom of the comments thread both here and here.

    The indicators for the index do not take account of future changes, I do not think. (Please correct me/provide a more accurate/informed view if anyone has it.) In addition, I’ve always wondered whether the guardianship rules would limit any such changes. Others point out the limitations/power/extent of the offices/positions in question/change; it is a “King” granting the apparent rights. Nonetheless, even small steps in the right directions, of course, often make huge differences – especially collectively and over time.

    In any case (and/or still), one of my main concerns generally is for the people in the higher ranked countries where the forms of gender inequality, sexual oppression (and related injustices/problems) are the worst. Let us not forget, or perhaps let us focus more of our energy/resources/attention, on such matters/places/people and the courageous individuals working in their midst (such as Wajeha Al-Huwaider, just to name one of very many but arguably nowhere near enough). – David Slutsky

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