The Countries Where Human Progress Is Fastest and Slowest
Monday, August 4, 2014
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual Human Development Report, which focuses on human vulnerability worldwide, last week.
In measuring progress of human development, the report ranked 187 countries based on indicators such as longevity, education and standard of living. Norway topped the list with very high human development, followed by Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States.
The five countries with the lowest human development — Sierra Leone, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger — are all located in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population is growing rapidly, there’s great disparity between the rich and the poor, and the standard of living remains well below the global average.
While the 2014 report indicates improvement and progress overall, it found that more than 2.2 billion people are near or living in multidimensional poverty, with 1.2 billion people currently living on less than $1.25 per day. Approximately 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, and more than 1.5 billion workers are either informally employed or hold unstable jobs.
The following chart, created by statistics portal Statista, illustrates the countries with the highest and lowest human development. Each figure represents a given country’s human development index (HDI) rank, based on a scale of 0-1 (the global HDI is 0.702).