Norway enjoys the world's highest quality of life, while Niger suffers the lowest, a United Nations agency said today, as it released a ranking that highlights the wide disparities in well-being between rich and poor countries.
Canada was listed fourth.
The annual Human Development Index, unveiled in Bangkok by the UN Development Program, takes into account life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment and per capita gross domestic product in 182 countries.
“A child born in Niger can expect to live to just over 50 years, which is 30 years less than a child born in Norway. Furthermore, the differences in per capita income are huge for every dollar earned per person in Niger, US $85 are earned in Norway,” UNDP said.
Canada’s life expectancy was among the highest with a child at birth expecting to live up to 80 years.
Norway was followed by Australia and Iceland on the overall list, which drew on statistics dating from 2007, before Iceland was hit hard by the global economic crisis. Afghanistan and Sierra Leone rounded out the bottom of the ranking. The United States was in 13th place.