The Human Development Report 2023/2024: A snapshot of trends and insights for Mauritius

In 2022, Mauritius maintained its high human development status, ranking 72nd globally with a HDI of 0.796. In the current report, Mauritius is among 7 African Countries in this category, ahead of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, and Botswana, in that order.

March 15, 2024
Port Louis, Mauritius


On 13th March 2024, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled the 2023/2024 edition of its annual Global Human Development Report (HDR). The report, titled “Breaking the gridlock: Reimagining cooperation in a polarized world”, provides insights into the performance of 193 countries. The report, since its inauguration in 1990, compares the human development progress of countries using the Human Development Index (HDI), which measures a country’s health, education and standard of living. Over the years, the Report has introduced additional indices to measure performance along the lines of inequalitygenderplanetary pressures, and multi-dimensional poverty, based on the variability of country-level data. This year’s HDR unveils latest progress using 2022 data.


Mauritius: Human Development Trends

In 2022, Mauritius maintained its  high human development status, ranking 72nd globally with a HDI of 0.796. It is noteworthy that the country has consistently upheld this human development status since 2010, briefly reaching the very high category in 2019, and sliding back in 2020. In the current report, Mauritius is among 7 African Countries in this category, ahead of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, and Botswana, in that order. Between 2021 and 2022, the country registered a 0.8 percent increase in HDI. 


Rivière des Galets, Mauritius


Accounting for Inequality in Human Development

Despite its overall high development status, Mauritius faces a challenge in tackling inequality, a concern echoed in the report as impacting several countries, in part exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report reveals a 21.5 percent decline in HDI for Mauritius when accounting for inequality, positioning among the top 10 countries (out of 48) in the high human development category that experienced a drop in human development due to inequality. Notably, inequality in income (31 percent), education (21.7 percent), and life expectancy (10 percent), emphasize the need to accelerate and sustain targeted interventions. Some of these have been articulated in the 2023-2024 national budget

Taxation, Wealth Distribution and National Identity

One striking revelation of the report is the relationship between voluntary compliance and the perceived so­cial norm for tax compliance, which translates into a stronger feeling of national identi­ty and perceived fairness in how the Government treats citizens. Most respondents in the country expressed support for tax collection efforts, viewing them as essential for national development. Yet, there is an understanding that not everyone can meet their tax obligations, shedding light on the nuanced interplay between taxation, identity, and fairness.

During election cycles in Africa, the debate on taxation and wealth redistribution takes centre stage. While most African nations find existing tax levels acceptable, the Mauritian population appears to advocate for a more equitable system. A sentiment echoing in the report is that the wealthy should contribute more to help the poor.


Port Louis, Mauritius


Global reflections: Redefining cooperation

The report urges the expansion of development policies, from wellbeing to strengthening people’s ability to determine their own future. It also advances the imperative of pushing back on global polarization, which has affected collective action in several ways. This includes the provision of global public goods such as climate change mitigation, and the recent access and uptake of vaccine witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It calls for reimagining the 21st century architecture for cooperation by pursuing the common ground while acknowledging diversity across countries. The upcoming 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in May 2024 offers opportunity for countries in this block to redefine the future of cooperation amongst themselves, and collectively, with the rest of the world.

As we navigate the complexities of development, Mauritius must continue its aspiration to be a beacon of progress by championing inclusive growth. The journey towards human development is a dynamic one, marked by challenges, conversations, and collective aspirations for a better future.


For additional insights, refer to the Country Note for Mauritius here.

Read the full Human Development Report here.