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Comparing Nations' maturity or "development"

We often think of certain countries as advanced - ahead of the pack. Frequently considering GNP to be *THE* metric. We also can be blinkered by our sense of patriotism when assessing our own country of origin, or that which we see as our "roots".
We get so called statistics on the safety, behavior, income etc. comparing countries but pitifully rarely are the numbers normalized, for example per capita.
So I was fascinated to read an article that highlighted an attempt at a balanced assessment going beyond GNP. I thought all you multi-national, multi-cultural folks might find the concept intriguing.
So here's a link to the topic of the Human Development Index:
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I'd love a dialogue on this concept.

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