New Zealand 3rd best country to live in – UN

New Zealand is the third best country to live in the world, climbing 17 places in the latest United Nations’ index aimed at measuring development.

The Human Development Report 2010 (HDR) was released today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Development Programme Administrator, and former New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark.

The report, The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development, highlights countries with the greatest progress as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI).

The index calculates the well-being in 169 countries, taking into account health, education and income, which are combined to generate an score between zero and one. The countries are grouped into four categories: very high, high, medium, and low.

New Zealand was named 20th in the 2009 and this year is just behind Norway and Australia, first and second respectively.

The country’s score has been rising by 0.5 percent a year between 1980 and 2010 from 0.786 to 0.907 today, placing it in “very high” category.

New Zealand’s life expectancy is 80.6 years, average number of school years is 12.5, and gross national income per capita is $25,438 ($NZ32,046).

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