7 Nov 2011
Education, income and health were assessed in the annual Human Development Index (HDI) released by the United Nations Development Program that ranks New Zealand 5th in the world. The index evaluated the standard of living, population access to knowledge and population chance of living a long and healthy life for 187 different countries. New Zealand is considered to have “very high human development” among other countries.
Nations that lead the HDI were Norway, Australia and Netherlands among other countries in the top ten included Ireland, Germany, United States, Sweden, Canada and Liechtenstein. Some of the wealthier nations did drop down in the HDI’s rankings once adjusted for internal inequalities in education, health and income. These included the United States, Israel and the Republic of Korea.
Chief statistician for the HDI, Milorad Kovacevic said “The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index helps us assess better the levels of development for all segments of society, rather than for just the mythical ‘average’ person,”. New Zealand achieved a high HDI value of 0.908 for 2011 and considered in the high human development category. Australia and Ireland were to closest nations to New Zealand in terms of HDI rank and population size.