This study set out to explain the variations in human development across Indian states, with special focus on Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. There are multiple factors that affect human development outcomes and it is not necessary that change occurs in the same manner across all states. Nevertheless, this study brings out and reconfirms certain important features. First, it is found that economic growth only has a limited role to play in ensuring improved health and human development outcomes. In fact, improved human development can also contribute to economic growth, while economic growth can provide opportunities for greater investments in human development. Tamil Nadu started off as a state that was slightly above the all India average in terms of human development and below the all India average in terms of economic conditions. It has now progressed to be one of the best states with regard to health outcomes and among the better-off in terms of economic conditions. Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, has remained a poor state both in terms of economic conditions as well as human development outcomes.