Norway repeated its reign as the most desirable country to live in, according to the 29th annual United Nations Human Development Report (HDR), issued October 6.
Sub-Saharan Africa, with many nations consumed with war and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, had the most countries at the bottom of the list.
Five nations jumped three or more places from the 2008 report, including China, Columbia, France, Peru and Venezuela.
The data was compiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and utilized 2007 data on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, education, and life expectancy.
"Many countries have experienced setbacks over recent decades, in the face of economic downturns, conflict-related crises and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and this was even before the impact of the global economic crisis was felt," stated the UNDP report.
The country with the highest GDP per capita is Lichtenstein, at $85,383 (€57,887), a principality home to 35,000 people, 15 banks and upwards of 100 wealth management companies.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has the poorest citizens, with an average annual income per capita of $298 (€202).
Some of the differences between the developing and developed world are stark: Life expectancy is 30 years shorter than the average of 80 in Norway; for every $1 (€0.68) earned per person in Niger, $85 (€85) was earned in Norway.
Top 20 Most Desirable Countries
13. United States
20. New Zealand
10 Least Desirable Countries
176. Congo (Democratic Republic of the)
177. Burkina Faso
179. Central African Republic
180. Sierra Leone