The Carnegie Council has a very interesting post on their blog Fairer Globalization about Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis’s recent talk on The Measure of America: American Human Development Report, 2008-2009.
You can watch a video of their talk here.
During the talk, Burd-Sharps and Lewis discussed how the human development in measured and highlighted the need for greater availability and standardization of human development data on industrialized nations. In assessing human development in the United States measure, “Fairer Globalization'” highlights some of the reports findings:
Across gender lines, females recorded similar scores to males, but achieved these through better education and health scores as opposed to income. Across ethnic groups, Asian males were found to enjoy a level of human development almost 50 years ahead of African American males. Moreover, the average life expectancy for African Americans today is shorter than it was for average Americans in the late 1970s. According to the data, African American males today can expect to live up to 20 years less than Asian females.
Internationally, the United States compares poorly with other OECD countries across health, education and income data. While per capita healthcare spending is three times that of Japan, the Japanese continue to outlive Americans by an average of four years. Similarly, upper secondary graduation rates in the United States are also comparatively low, and the United States registered some of the highest infant mortality and child poverty rates of any of its OECD peers. On top of this, the United States remains one of only four countries across the globe with no federally mandated paid maternity leave system in place.