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Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
PQLI and HDI are the two most popular measures of development, besides per capita income. Over the years, PQLI appears to be not much in use for regional comparisons, especially after the introduction of HDI. While PQLI considers only the physical variables--adult literacy, life expectancy at birth and infant survival rate, HDI has life expectancy at birth, educational attainment and real GDP per capita (PPP$). PQLI and HDI are similar, the main difference between the two being the inclusion of income in HDI and exclusion of the same from PQLI. In a sense, HDI represents both physical and financial attributes of development and PQLI has only the physical aspects of life. The present author took the lines of PQLI to express development in terms of physical variables and considering development as a multidimensional phenomenon, Ray (1989) [Ray, A. K. (1989). "On the measurement of certain aspects of social development, Social Indicators Research" (Vol. 21, pp. 35-92). The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.] included as many as 13 physical variables to represent social development across 40 countries; no financial variable was included in the construction of composite index, termed as the Social Development Index, SDI. Incidentally, like PQLI, SDI was introduced before HDI. Unlike PQLI and HDI, SDI considers (i) a large number of indicators representing various concern areas and (ii) a set of objective methods for combining the development indicators as a composite index. Ray (1989) has been restated and updated in this article with newer cross-country information. In the present study, SDI has been constructed for over 102 countries, including 21 OECD countries, using 10 development indicators, instead of 13 indicators in the past. Apart from presenting objective methods for combining indicators into SDI, the present study asserts that SDI works better than HDI as a measure of development for an international comparison.