Norway is the best place to live in the world, according to the UN

Two billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years, but 830 million people are still classified as “working poor”, earning under $2 a day

Emma Henderson
Tuesday 15 December 2015 15:11

Norway has been named the best country in the world to live in - for the 12th year in a row.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure of basic human developments within 188 countries, released by the UN in its annual Human Development Report.

It uses three categories of human development - categorised as a long and healthy lifestyle, access to knowledge and decent standard of living - to assess the long-term progress of nations.

Norway ranks at the top, followed by Australia and Switzerland, with values of 9.44, 0.935 and 0.930 respectively, making them the best countries to live in for health, life expectancy, education and high incomes.

Norway has also been named the most prosperous country in the world - for the seventh year running. It's outdoor lifestyle, which makes the most of the mountains and fjords, undoubtedly plays a key role in the country's health and main attractions such as the northern lights boast a popular tourism industry.

The components of the index look at a person’s life expectancy from when they are born, the amount of years they are expected to have in school and the gross national income.

Best Place to Work in the UK 2016

The UK is 14th place - one position up from the previous year.

But life expectancy in the UK is 80.7 years, only just behind the top country Norway’s life expectancy of 81.6.

The UK boasts an average of 13.1 years spent in school, a figure higher than all of the countries above it in the list.

Australia has the highest amount of expected school years at 20.2. While Luxembourg and Qatar, both in the very high human development group, only expect 13.9 and 13.8 years in education, which is the same duration as many countries in the medium human development category.

Japan is down one place from last year, slipping from 19th to 20th position. But the countries which faced the steepest drop were Libya down 27 places and Syria which fell 15 places.

However, India is up five places from last year, and now ranks as 130th in the index.

The first 49 countries are categorises as having a very high human development index. Other countries included in this top section are Israel at 18th, Greece in 29th place, Brunei in 31st and Montenegro in 49th.

High human development countries rank from 50th to 105th and include Samoa, Jordan, Serbia and Malaysia.

The next category is medium human development countries, which start from 106th place with Botswana, to 143rd place of Sao Tome and Principle, an African island off the west coast.

In 145th place, where the low human development countries category begins, is Kenya.

The five countries at the bottom of the list, in the low human development category, from 183rd to 188th are Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Eritrea, Central African Republic and Niger.

Niger has 5.4 expected years of schooling, while Central African Republic’s life expectancy is 50.7 years.

The report’s lead author, Selim Jahan, said: “Human process will accelerate when everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so under decent circumstance.

“Yet in many countries, people are often excluded from paid work, or are paid less than others for doing work of the same value.”

This year’s report shows that two billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years.

But 830 million people are still classified as “working poor”, earning under $2 a day (£1.30).

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