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Switzerland slips down list of best places to live

Switzerland has fallen from ninth to 13th place on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). Norway kept its top position, according to Thursday’s report.

This content was published on November 4, 2010 - 15:55
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The HDI is a measure of well-being published by the UN Development Programme for the past 20 years that combines individual economic prosperity with education levels and life expectancy.

Switzerland lost ground – overtaken by the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany – due in part to the inclusion of length of obligatory schooling for the first time. Swiss children on average must spend 10.3 years in class which is 2.3 years less than in Norway.

However, Switzerland scored well (seventh) in the indicator “inequality”, which looks at among other things how fairly income is distributed among the population as well as educational opportunities.

And the alpine nation was ranked fourth for gender equality.

Japan headed the field in life expectancy, at 83.6 years, with Afghanistan last at little more than half of that - 44.6 years.

Switzerland’s neighbour, the tiny principality of Liechtenstein, had by far the highest per capita annual income – $81,011 – which was 460 times higher than last-placed Zimbabwe at $176.

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