Norway has the world’s highest living standards, according to a new UN report.
The UN’s annual Human Development Index (HDI) ranks countries based on standards of health, education and income.
It serves as an indicator of progress in human development across nations – particularly in developing countries.
The latest HDI – which ranked 187 countries – put Norway, Australia and the Netherlands at the top of the global league table in the “very high human development” category – in first, second and third place respectively.
Other countries that featured in the top ten included the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein (bordered by Austria & Switzerland), Germany and Sweden.
Many parts of Europe, including Spain, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all eclipsed the UK, which retained its 28th position in this year’s index.
The ten lowest scoring countries for health, education and average income were all in sub-Saharan Africa, including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Burundi.
But when the figures were adjusted for inequality within a country, the US slipped from fourth place to 23rd in the global ranking when inequality in terms of education, health and gender were considered. While the UK rose by four places to 24th.
“The index helps us assess better the levels of development for all segments of society, rather than for just the mythical ‘average’ person,” said Milorad Kovacevic, chief statistician for the Human Development Report.
The report, which focused on sustainability, the environment and inequality, concluded that development in the world’s poorest countries could be halted or even reversed by 2050 unless steps are taken to slow climate change, environmental damage and reduce inequalities within nations.
The UN’s ranking of the best places to live:
- United States
- New Zealand
The 10 least desirable ten places to live:
- Central African Republic
- Sierra Leone
- Burkina Faso
- Democratic Republic of Congo