Switzerland has come second behind Norway in the UN’s 2019 Human Development Index (HDI), keeping the position it enjoyed last year.
Ireland is third, Germany and Hong Kong share fourth place, while the US is placed 15th in the indexexternal link released on Tuesday by the UN Development Programme. The bottom ten in the rankings are all sub-Saharan African countries, with Niger 189th, just behind the Central African Republic.
The index measures progress in three aspects of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living. The three indicators are measured by looking at life expectancy, mean years of schooling among the adult population, and Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, respectively.
Switzerland’s HDI is above average for countries in the “very high human development group” and is also above average for OECD countries. Between 1990 and 2018, life expectancy at birth increased by 6.1 years in Switzerland, mean years of schooling went up by 3.7 years, and GNI per capita rose by about 20.8 percent, according to the Human Development Report.
At the global level, the UNDP warns of new factors affecting inequality.
“A new generation of inequalities is opening up around education, and around technology and climate change,” it writesexternal link. “In countries with very high human development, for example, subscriptions to fixed broadband are growing 15 times faster and the proportion of adults with tertiary education is growing more than six times faster than in countries with low human development.”