Posted tagged ‘Human Development Index’

Measuring the quality of life

October 14, 2010

Still on national rankings, an interesting one is the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures quality of life based on education, health and GDP per capita. The most recently available rankings published in 2009 relate to 2007, and in this table Ireland is at number 5, while the United States is at 13 and the UK at 21. The top 10 countries are:

1 Norway
2 Australia
3 Iceland
4 Canada
5 Ireland
6 Netherlands
7 Sweden
8 France
9 Switzerland
10 Japan

Although this table also has a Scandinavia winner in Norway, overall the Nordic countries don’t do as well as they do in gender equality. The table does however show up the striking gaps between the rich countries and the developing world. Life expectancy in the top 10 countries lies at around or just under 80 years; however in countries such as the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone it is roughly half that. GDP per capita is $53,433 in Norway, in Sierra Leone it is $679. We still have a major job to do in lifting some of the world’s poorer countries out of poverty.