Norway tops UN best country list

2010-11-04 22:15

kalahari.com

Geneva - Oil-rich Norway remains the best country in the world to live in, while Zimbabwe, afflicted by an economic crisis and Aids, is the least desirable, according to an annual UN rating released on Thursday.

The assessment came in a so-called human development index, a measure of wellbeing published by the UN Development Programme for the past 20 years that combines individual economic prosperity with education levels and life expectancy.

The UNDP placed Norway, Australia and New Zealand at the top, and Niger - last year's back-marker - the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe at the bottom, as Western countries again led the list while sub-Saharan African nations trailed.

Japan headed the field in life expectancy, at 83.6 years, with Afghanistan last at little more than half of that - 44.6 years. The tiny Alpine state of Liechtenstein had by far the highest per capita annual income - $81 011, 460 times higher than last-placed Zimbabwe on $176.

Significant changes

Overall, the index contained some significant changes near the top compared with last year, with the US rising from 13th to fourth, and Iceland - hard hit by the global financial crisis - plummeting from third to 17th.

But UNDP officials said the figures were not fully comparable due to changes in calculation methods this year.

Per capita gross national income, which includes aid and remittances, has been used instead of gross domestic product, while in education gross enrolment has been replaced by average years of schooling.

Due to difficulties in obtaining the required figures from some countries, only 169 of the 192 UN member states were graded. Absentees included North Korea.

Instead of year-on-year shifts, this year's report focused on what it said were upward long-term trends, assessing developments in 135 countries since 1970.

Mostly positive

"The overall message is actually quite positive," Jeni Klugman, lead author of the report, told journalists. "What we find is that the world is much better off than it was," including a doubling of incomes in real terms over 40 years.

The report says only three countries have a lower human development index than in 1970: the DRC, torn by conflict since the 1990s, Zambia, hit by falls in the price of copper, its main export, and Zimbabwe, where inflation reached 500 billion percent two years ago.

According to UNDP, the country to have made the most progress in the past four decades is the Gulf state of Oman, because of major health and education improvements, with China in second place due to its prodigious economic growth.

This year's report also drew up new indicators measuring the impact of inequality in the distribution of health, education and income, as well as of gender inequality.

On distribution it found that the country with the least inequality was the Czech Republic, while Mozambique had the most. The figures show "that in many countries, despite rising overall average development achievement, far too many people are being left behind," Klugman said.

The Netherlands had the least gender inequality, while Yemen had the most, the survey said.

Read more on:    un  |  norway  |  zimbabwe
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.