We explore the role of democracy in human development. Rather than viewing democracy as a prerequisite for or consequence of human development, we suggest that, like health, education, and income, democracy is also an integral part of human development. We draw on the experiences of a number of countries to reinforce this perspective, and propose a two dimensional typology of human development based on the degree of democracy prevailing in a country and “tangible” human development, as measured by the HDI and other supplementary indices. We use this typology to distinguish between four types of human development: sustainable human development, pseudo human development, emergent human development, and failed human development. We propose that such a classification can be used as a tool for the planning and evaluation of development policies.