This country was named the best place in the world to live, for the 12th straight year

The United Nations has released its annual Human Development Index (HDI) and one Scandinavian utopia is on top for the 12th straight year. Norway again topped the HDI, which ranks 188 countries based on three dimensions of human development: health and life expectancy, access to knowledge and the average standard of living. Norway, for example, has a life expectancy of 81.6 years, its citizens average 12.6 years of schooling and it has a per capita income of $64,992. That latter number is part of the reason why it was also named the world’s most prosperous country (for the seventh straight year).

Jens Wandel, the head of the UN Development Programme, said:

“Norway has over time managed to increase its income, and at the same time ensured that incomes are relatively evenly distributed […] In addition, Norway has a high level of equality between men and women, and these things typically go hand in hand with a high human development level.”

The top ten included countries from Europe and North America, and that South Pacific power couple, Australia and New Zealand. On the opposite side of the Index, 24 of the bottom 25 countries are located in Africa. The five countries that had the lowest scores on the index were Niger, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Chad and Burundi.

For a look at the top 10 countries in the world, their life expectancies and per capita income, click through the photos below. And if you’re ready to move to Norway, you’d better get in line, buddy. We were here first.

1. Norway

The perennial winner has a life expectancy of 81.6 years, its citizens average 12.6 years of schooling and its per capita income is $64,992. (Pictured: The Northern Lights, in northern Norway)
The perennial winner has a life expectancy of 81.6 years, its citizens average 12.6 years of schooling and its per capita income is $64,992. (Pictured: The Northern Lights, in northern Norway)

2. Australia

Australia has a life expectancy of 82.4 years, its citizens average 13 years of schooling and its per capita income is $42,261. (Pictured: Sydney)
Australia has a life expectancy of 82.4 years, its citizens average 13 years of schooling and its per capita income is $42,261. (Pictured: Sydney)

3. Switzerland

Switzerland has a life expectancy of 83 years, its citizens average 12.8 years of schooling and its per capita income is $56,431.(Pictured: Zurich)
Switzerland has a life expectancy of 83 years, its citizens average 12.8 years of schooling and its per capita income is $56,431.(Pictured: Zurich)

4. Denmark

Denmark has a life expectancy of 80.2 years, its citizens average 12.7 years of schooling and its per capita income is $44,025.(Pictured: Copenhagen)
Denmark has a life expectancy of 80.2 years, its citizens average 12.7 years of schooling and its per capita income is $44,025.(Pictured: Copenhagen)

5. Netherlands

The Netherlands has a life expectancy of 81.6 years, its citizens average 11.9 years of schooling and its per capita income is $45,435. (Pictured: Amsterdam. And tulips. So many tulips.)
The Netherlands has a life expectancy of 81.6 years, its citizens average 11.9 years of schooling and its per capita income is $45,435. (Pictured: Amsterdam. And tulips. So many tulips.)

6. Germany (tie)

Germany has a life expectancy of 80.9 years, its citizens receive an average of 13.1 years of schooling and its per capita income is $43,919. (Pictured: The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin)
Germany has a life expectancy of 80.9 years, its citizens receive an average of 13.1 years of schooling and its per capita income is $43,919. (Pictured: The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin)

6. Ireland (tie)

Ireland has a life expectancy of 80.9 years, its citizens receive an average of 12.2 years of schooling and its per capita income is $39,568. (Pictured: The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare)
Ireland has a life expectancy of 80.9 years, its citizens receive an average of 12.2 years of schooling and its per capita income is $39,568. (Pictured: The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare)

8. United States

WE'RE NUMBER EIGHT! WE'RE NUMBER EIGHT! The United States has a life expectancy of 79.1 years, its citizens receive an average of 12.9 years of schooling and its per capita income is $52,947. (Pictured: New York City)
WE’RE NUMBER EIGHT! WE’RE NUMBER EIGHT! The United States has a life expectancy of 79.1 years, its citizens receive an average of 12.9 years of schooling and its per capita income is $52,947. (Pictured: New York City)

9. Canada (tie)

Canada has a life expectancy of 82 years, its residents receive an average of 13 years of schooling and its per capita income is $42,155. (Pictured: Toronto)
Canada has a life expectancy of 82 years, its residents receive an average of 13 years of schooling and its per capita income is $42,155. (Pictured: Toronto)

9. New Zealand (tie)

New Zealand, which tied for ninth with Canada, has a life expectancy of 81.8 years, its residents receive an average of 12.5 years of schooling and its per capita income is $32,689. (Pictured: Queenstown)
New Zealand, which tied for ninth with Canada, has a life expectancy of 81.8 years, its residents receive an average of 12.5 years of schooling and its per capita income is $32,689. (Pictured: Queenstown)

 

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