Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI)

Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI)


  • Physical quality of life index (PQLI) measures the quality of life or well-being of a country..


  • PQLI comprisesof three indicators, viz. infant mortality, life expectancy at age one, and literacy.

These three components measure the results rather than inputs. As such they lend themselves to international and national comparison.


For each component, the performance of individual countries is placed on a scale of 0 to 100.

  • 0 represents an absolutely defined “worst” performance.
  • 100 represents an absolutely defined “best” performance.

The composite index is calculated by averaging the three indicators, giving equal weight to each of them. Thus, PQLI value ranges from 0 to 100.

PQLI does not measure economic growth; it measures the results of social, economic and political policies.

PQLI doesn’t take per capita GNP into consideration showing thereby that “money is not everything”.


  • Oil-rich countries of Middle East with high per capita incomes have in fact not very high PQLis.
  • Sri Lanka and Kerala state in India have low per capita incomes with high PQLis.

Human Development Index [HDI] Vs Physical Quality of Life Index [PQLI]

Components 1. Longetivity – Life expectancy at birth (LEB/ LE0)
2. Income (Real GDP per capita in PPP US$)
3. Knowledge (Mean years of schooling – Gross enrolment ratio & Literacy rate)
1. Life expectancy at 1 year age (LE1)
2. Infant mortality rate (IMR)
3. Literacy rate
Range 0 to +1 0 to 100
for India 0.554  65


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