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The USA is not the best country to live in it came in at number eight while the UK was further down at joint 14th position with Sweden.

Surprises came further down the list when Hong Kong ranked 12 but China ranked just 90, joint with Fiji and Mongolia.

Vanuatu, a place that once came top on a ‘happy planet index’ came in at just 134 with Syria.

Qataris were on average the wealthiest, with a GNI per capita of $123,124 (£82,022) – but this was capped at $75,000 (£49,963) for the calculation of the HDI.

Central African Republicans were the poorest, with a GNI per capita of just $581 (£387).

This value was based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), or the amount of goods you could buy with your dollar.

The people of Burkina Faso were the least educated, with a mean schooling of just 1.4 years, while Germany had a mean schooling of 13.1 years.

If you want to live a long life, it’s best to head to Hong Kong where life expectancy is 84 years. In contrast, those living in Swaziland only had a life expectancy of 49 years.

Seven countries and territories were not ranked, including North Korea, Marshall Islands and Monaco.

The HDI also doesn’t take into account of things like human rights, pollution or the hours of work.


  1. Norway
  2. Australia
  3. Switzerland
  4. Denmark
  5. Netherlands
  6. Germany
  7. Ireland
  8. United States
  9. Canada
  10. New Zealand
  11. Singapore
  12. Hong Kong, China (SAR)
  13. Liechtenstein
  14. Sweden
  15. United Kingdom
  16. Iceland
  17. South Korea
  18. Israel
  19. Luxembourg
  20. Japan

Source: UN Development Programme


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