The UN has recently released its annual Human Development Report, which contains an assessment of basic human development in 188 countries, called the Human Development Index (HDI). Norway ranked number one on the index and this is the country’s twelfth year in a row to come out at the top.
The index accounts for three primary categories, including education, per capita income, and life expectancy. Norway’s qualification for the highest in human development indicates that it is a place where people generally experience long and healthy lives, access to knowledge, and a high standard of living. Norway has also been recognized as the most prosperous country in the world for seven years in a row.
Australia and Switzerland came in after Norway as second and third in the Human Development Index. The first 49 countries on the index fall into the category of the highest levels of development. Countries that rank from 50th to 105th place are considered to still have high human development, while those from 106th to 143rd are considered to have medium human development. The rest of the rankings, to the 188th place, are said to have low levels of human development. Niger came in last in the Index, followed closely by the Central African Republic and Eritrea.
Syria and Libya saw the steepest decline in their standing in the Index this year, slipping 15 and 27 places respectively.
While the UN’s assessment determines that two billion people have advanced beyond low human development in the last 25 years, there are still 830 million people that could be classified as “working poor,” earning less than $2 per day.