Human Development Index (HDI) is used in UNO reports since 1990. The index is calculated as weighted average of life length, education level and wealth. The index
enables researchers to rank the countries through comparison of the real situation with
the best and the worst achievements. In 1960-1990 HDI raised in both developed and
developing countries, and the difference between them became slightly smaller in that
period. At the beginning of 1990-s HDI decreased to a certain extent in Russia, CIS
countries and some East European countries. In 1997 Russia was ranked 38th in the
world The paper discusses regional differences in HDI in Russia in the first half of
1990-s. In that period regional differentiation increased and the number of regions with
high HDI decreased dramatically. The top ten changed as well.
The issues of using HDI in analysis of demographic processes are also shown. HDI is
used for forecasting the changes in birth-rate in the process of demographic transition,
as there is strong inverse correlation between total birth-rate coefficient and HDI.