AP Human Geography : Human Development Index

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Human Development Index

Which of the following three countries best represent Stage 4 of demographic transition?

Possible Answers:

The United Kingdom, Japan, and United States

China, India, and Pakistan

Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina

Libya, Sudan, and Kenya

Russia, Mongolia, and China

Correct answer:

The United Kingdom, Japan, and United States

Explanation:

Stage 4 of demographic transition is the result of industrial and economic development and is characterized by a low and stabilized birth rate and a low and constant mortality rate. Countries that have undergone their industrial revolution and have adequate public health and education infrastructure such as Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom are in Stage 4 of demographic transition.

Example Question #2 : Human Development Index

Which of the following societies would most likely be undergoing Stage 2 of the demographic transition?

Possible Answers:

China is currently approaching the later years of its industrial revolution, with well-established public healthcare and education systems in big cities and increasing labor and safety regulations in the workforce.

Germany is a country that has been industrialized for nearly two hundred years, with nationally-established public healthcare and free education infrastructure.

The Swahili tribes of East Africa are nomadic and travel long-established routes to hunt and graze cattle. Hospitals and education are scarce to non-existent.

Brazil is a country that has been very welcoming of foreign companies and investors for decades. Healthcare and sanitation have been improved greatly in recent decades, with many slums of the past being replaced with more livable housing.

Ghana is a West African country that is beginning to industrialize and improve public healthcare and education infrastructure.

Correct answer:

Ghana is a West African country that is beginning to industrialize and improve public healthcare and education infrastructure.

Explanation:

Stage 2 of the demographic transition begins right before population expansion and continues until the near end of a country's industrialization process. Ghana is a country that is beginning to industrialize, and its public healthcare and education infrastructure are severely underdeveloped, which is typical of a country in Stage 2. The result is a consistently high birth rate along with an exponential decrease in the mortality rate.

Example Question #2 : Human Development Index

What is the sum of all economic activity produced by a country in a given period of time?

Possible Answers:

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The GINI Index

The Human Development Index (HDI)

Gross National Product (GNP)

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

Correct answer:

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Explanation:

This is the definition of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Gross National Product (GNP) is GDP plus any net income from trade. The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the status of life in any given place based off of life expectancy, education levels, and income per capita. The GINI Index measures the economic inequality of a given area. Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) tries to equate relative values of difference currencies to make other measures of economic success equal to all currencies.

Example Question #12 : Social & Economic Measures Of Development

Which of these regions scores the highest on the Human Development Index?

Possible Answers:

North America

Western Europe

The Middle East

East Asia

South America

Correct answer:

Western Europe

Explanation:

Of these regions Western Europe and North America score by far the highest on the Human Development Index, although it is worth noting that some countries (like Japan) in the other regions also have very high scores on the Human Development Index. Western Europe does tend to edge out North America, primarily as a result of higher life expectancy.

Example Question #3 : Human Development Index

Which of these are considered as part of the Human Development Index?

I. Income

II. Sanitation

III. Nutrition

IV. Education

V. Life expectancy

Possible Answers:

II, III, IV, and V

III, IV, and V

I, IV, and V

IV and V

I, II, and V

Correct answer:

I, IV, and V

Explanation:

The Human Development Index was created by the United Nations Development Program in 2010. Its main goal is to try and de-emphasize the focus on productivity as the primary measure of development. Instead it focuses on income, education, and life expectancy. Generally speaking, the Human Development Index matches quite closely with the Gross National Product, but there are several notable exceptions such as the Middle East and Southern Europe.

Example Question #4 : Human Development Index

Developing nations have a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other nations. Developing nations also tend to have __________.

Possible Answers:

higher economic growth

lower fertility rates

higher per capita incomes

higher literacy rates

higher infant and child mortality

Correct answer:

higher infant and child mortality

Explanation:

Developing nations tend to have higher infant and child mortality rates. These high mortality rates are counterbalanced with higher fertility rates. Developing nations have lower literacy rates, lower incomes, and lower economic growth. Infant mortality is considered an effective baseline for measuring not only the quality of healthcare in a country, but also the overall quality of social services. Developing nations are so named in contrast with "Developed" or more wealthy nations, it does not necessarily refer to that nation experiencing economic growth.

Example Question #15 : Social & Economic Measures Of Development

The Human Development Index (HDI) was created by the United Nations (UN) to measure a country's level of development. Development is the process of improving the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge and technology. As the development process is continuous and constantly fluctuating, the HDI rating of any given country changes year to year. Categorization of development is simplified by terming countries as either developed or developing, based on what their HDI ranking is. A developed country has progressed further along the development continuum than a developing country and the UN considers these countries to have a very high development. A developing country has generally made some progress towards development but less than that of the developed countries. The UN further divides the developing countries into levels of "high", "medium", and "low" development.

The UN HDI considers development to be a function of three factors:

1.) A decent standard of living

2.) Access to knowledge

3.) A long and healthy life

Each country is given a score for each of the three factors, which are then combined into an overall HDI. The highest HDI possible is 1.0 (or 100%).

It is not surprising that the three most developed regions in the world according to the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) are Australia, Europe, and North America. There are many regions of the world which have an overall low HDI ranking which is caused by only one or two of the factors considered in classifying rank. Which region of the world has the lowest HDI, mainly influenced by the low rank of the "long and healthy life" factor?

Possible Answers:

Southwest Asia and North Africa

Russia

Sub-Saharan Africa

Latin America

Japan

Correct answer:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Explanation:

Sub-Saharan Africa has an HDI of only 0.4, the lowest of any region in the world. All other developing regions rank at a 0.5 or higher. Russia is the highest ranking of all the regions the UN deems as "developing" with an HDI of 0.72.

Why is Sub-Saharan Africa ranked so low? The answer is that their life expectancy is the shortest of anywhere in the world.  There are many factors that cause the life-expectancy and overall health to be so low in Sub-Saharan Africa. The major cause for this is the AIDS epidemic which is a major crisis for this region of the world. Although the UN and other Government and Non-Government organizations have been helping with the AIDS crisis, it is still an incurable disease which has spread rapidly throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and continues to be the number one cause of death in this region. With many children being born with AIDS passed down from their parents, it is a challenge to get this crisis under control.

Lack of clean drinking water, lack of medical services, and minimal access to knowledge also influence the low life-expectancy and health in this region.  With many people being contaminated with various diseases and viruses from their drinking water, combined with a shortage of medicines and medical facilities to treat patients in, unfortunately many people in this region die at a young age from otherwise curable illnesses. The minimal access to knowledge and low school attendance in areas that do provide education only worsens the problem as people are not educated on how to avoid getting sick and what to do to treat an illness. Providing access to education could prevent many deaths and help begin to contain the spread of the AIDS virus.

Example Question #16 : Social & Economic Measures Of Development

Which of the following would not directly result in a higher human development index (HDI)?

Possible Answers:

Higher gross national income

Higher cost of living

Higher income per capita

Higher mean years of schooling

Longer life expectancy at birth

Correct answer:

Higher cost of living

Explanation:

The human development index (HDI) is calculated based off three indices: life expectancy index (LEI), education index (EI), and income index (II). The only answer choice that is not directly involved in any of the three indices is "higher cost of living." The HDI helps to classify countries into four tiers of human development.

Example Question #17 : Social & Economic Measures Of Development

The highest crude death rates are found in countries in which stage of the Demographic Transition Model?

Possible Answers:

Stage 5

Stage 2

Stage 4

Stage 3

Stage 1

Correct answer:

Stage 1

Explanation:

According to the Demographic Transition Model, Stage 1 is defined by very high birth rates and death rates. As countries transition to Stage 2, the death rate begins to fall, while the birth rate lags and continues to remain high. In Stage 3, the death rate falls more slowly while the birth rate falls steadily. Moving into Stage 4, the birth rate falls more slowly and the death rate is low and stable. In Stage 5, the final stage, death rates remain low and birth rates may drop further, leading to a slow decrease in population.

Example Question #5 : Human Development Index

The HDI (Human Development Index) takes into account the factors of Industrialization. As cities and countries develop, they can improve their industry or add new industry, becoming new industrial cities or new industrial countries.

Which of the following countries can be defined as New Industrial Countries?

Possible Answers:

South Korea, Brazil, and China

Tokyo, USA, and China

England, Brazil, and Australia

Indonesia, Kenya, and Italy

Indonesia, France, and South Korea

Correct answer:

South Korea, Brazil, and China

Explanation:

South Korea, Brazil, and China are all countries which have developed more over the past 10 years, due to their implementation and growth of industry. They are newer on the industrial scene than other countries, such as England or the USA. They are also more developed and more industrial than countries lower on the HDI, such as Indonesia or Kenya. 

Indonesia is not a developed country yet. It does not have much industrial regions and is not a new industrial country.

Kenya is still under-developed. It also does not have a new industrial base and is not a new industrial country.

The USA, England, France, and Italy are all highly developed countries with strong industrial bases; however, they are not new to the industrial revolution. These four countries have been leaders of industry for a long time.

Tokyo is a city, not a country. It is industrial and has developed a lot over the past 20 years, but it belongs to the country of Japan. Japan has been industrial for many years and is not new to the industrial revolution.

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