The human development index (HDI) and the human poverty index (HPI) - the composite measures of human development created to draw morę attention to social aspects in modern economic policy. The dominant practice of judging the level of countries’ development through gross national product per capita is one of the reasons because of which there is a elear tendency of undervaluation of social aspects of development in recent times. Despite being greeted as controversial when it was first launched in 1990, the human development index (HDI) has been succesful in serving as an alternative measure of development, suppplementing GNP. The HDI measures the overall achievements of a country in the three basie dimensions: longevity (measured as life expectancy), knowledge (as adult literacy and school enrollment) and a decent standard of living (as real GDP per capita).The succes of HDI encouraged its authors to introduce in 1997 another summary measure of development - the human poverty index (HPI) - a useful complement to income measures of poverty. While HDI measures overall progress of a country in achieving progress, the HPI measures deprivation in the same dimensions of basie human development as the HDI. The HPI measures poverty in developing countries in the following dimensions: longevity as measured by probability of not surviving to the age of 40, knowledge as measured by adult literacy ratę and overall economic provision as measured by percentage of people not using improved water resources and the percentage of children under five who are underweight. In developed countries the indicators are: the probability of not surviving to the age of 60, adult functional illiteracy, the percentage of people living below the poverty linę, and additionally social exclusion measured as long term unemployment . Although UNDP’s international ranking of countries by HDI and HPI has mostly prestige meaning, it has a psychological effect which should mobilize governments to act in order to improve the situation and shows where foreign aid should be directed first.