The best countries to live in, ranked by the United Nations

2015-12-17

If you ask the United Nations or Norwegians what is the best country in the world to live in, the answer is unanimous: Norway. The United Nations Development Programme has tallied up vast amount of data from 2014 from the world’s countries and created the Human Development Index that can be used to rank the nations.

Tromsö, Norway, view from mountain above town

Tromsö, Norway: view from a mountain above town.

The world’s best countries to live in top 10 by the United Nations:

1 Norway 0.944
2 Australia 0.935
3 Switzerland 0.930
4 Denmark 0.923
5 Netherlands 0.922
6 Germany 0.916
6 Ireland 0.916
8 United States 0.915
9 Canada 0.913
9 New Zealand 0.913

In the top ten list above, the number after each country is the index that the United Nations Development Program has calculated from the numeric data it has collected from 188 countries and territories. The Human Development Index is a measure of national quality of life. It consists of three elements:
– life expectancy at birth
– mean years and expected years of schooling
– gross national income at purchasing power parity per capita.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranked 10 best cities to live in. A comparison between the UN ranking an the Economist ranking confirms that the same countries earn their places at the top even when the measurement systems are different.

The highest ranked 49 countries belong to the Very High Human Development category in the United Nation’s report. Here are all the countries that made it to the top 49:

11 Singapore 0.912
12 Hong Kong, China (SAR) 0.910
13 Liechtenstein 0.908
14 Sweden 0.907
14 United Kingdom 0.907
16 Iceland 0.899
17 Korea (Republic of) 0.898
18 Israel 0.894
19 Luxembourg 0.892
20 Japan 0.891
21 Belgium 0.890
22 France 0.888
23 Austria 0.885
24 Finland 0.883
25 Slovenia 0.880
26 Spain 0.876
27 Italy 0.873
28 Czech Republic 0.870
29 Greece 0.865
30 Estonia 0.861
31 Brunei Darussalam 0.856
32 Cyprus 0.850
32 Qatar 0.850
34 Andorra 0.845
35 Slovakia 0.844
36 Poland 0.843
37 Lithuania 0.839
37 Malta 0.839
39 Saudi Arabia 0.837
40 Argentina 0.836
41 United Arab Emirates 0.835
42 Chile 0.832
43 Portugal 0.830
44 Hungary 0.828
45 Bahrain 0.824
46 Latvia 0.819
47 Croatia 0.818
48 Kuwait 0.816
49 Montenegro 0.802

The lowest-ranking countries from the total 188 were Niger, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Chad, and Burundi. Syria and Libya were the biggest fallers.

The whole extensive report and its data is available here.

bicycles, Harstad, Norway

Bicycles welcoming the Arctic Race of Norway to Harstad.


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