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20 best nations to live in

Last updated on: November 4, 2011 10:14 IST

20 best nations to live in

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The income distribution has worsened in most parts of the world. Latin America has the largest income inequality, although it is more equitable than sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in life expectancy and schooling, states a UNDP report.

The report also shows that countries at the bottom of the list still suffer from inadequate incomes, limited schooling opportunities and low expectancy rates due to preventable diseases such as malaria and AIDS.

The HDI combines measures of life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. This year, the study included a record number of 187 countries and territories.

Despite, economic growth India is still ranked way below at 134. The 10 countries that place last in the 2011 HDI are all in sub-Saharan Africa: Guinea, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Chad, Mozambique, Burundi, Niger, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Click NEXT to find out the top 25 countries in the Human Development Index...


Image: A fisherman arranges a fishing net as his wife paddles their boat in the waters of the Periyar river.
Photographs: Sivaram V/Reuters.
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1. Norway

Human Development Index: Rank 1

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.1

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 7.5

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.1

Health index (life expectancy): 0.964

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 6.8

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 47,557

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $) 47,676

Income index (GNI per capita):0.883

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Image: A gingerbread town, consisting of buildings, boats, bridges and other structures, is seen in Bergen.
Photographs: Reuters.
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2. Australia

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.9

Health index (life expectancy): 0.976

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 4.5

Education index (expected and mean years of schooling): 0.981

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 34,431

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 34,259

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.837

Inequality Inequality-adjusted HDI: 0.856

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Image: Thousands of beach goers enjoy the sun, sea and sand on Bondi Beach in Sydney.
Photographs: Reuters.
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3. Netherlands

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.7

Health index (life expectancy): 0.958

Education index (expected and mean years of schooling): 0.931

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 5.3

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $):36,358

GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 36,402

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.845

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Image: A cyclist makes his way over a snow covered bridge in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.
Photographs: Maartje Blijdentein/Reuters.
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4. United States

Life expectancy at birth (years): 78.5

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 7.1

Health index (life expectancy): 0.923

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 5.5

GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 43,017

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 41,761

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.869

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Image: Visitors walk past the Statue of Liberty and part of the New York skyline, constructed out of lego bricks.
Photographs: Pierre DuCharme/Reuters.
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5. New Zealand

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.7

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP) 7.1

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.7

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 6.1

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 23,737

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 24,706

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.783

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Image: A view of the city skyline from Westhaven in Auckland.
Photographs: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters.
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6. Canada

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.0

Health index (life expectancy): 0.962

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 4.9

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $) 35,166

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 34,567

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.840

6. Ireland

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.6

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 4.9

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 36,278

GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 29,322

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.814

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Image: A girl with face paint in Irish national colours looks on during the Saint Patrick's Day parade along Dublin's city centre.
Photographs: Victor Fraile/Reuters.
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8. Liechtenstein

Life expectancy at birth (years): 79.6 

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 2.0  

Expected years of schooling (of children under 7) (years): 14.7   

Education index (expected and mean years of schooling): 0.818  

Combined gross enrolment in education (both sexes) (%): 86.7  

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 83,717 

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.964 

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Image: Liechtenstein.

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9. Germany

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.4

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 8.0

Health index (life expectancy): 0.953

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 4.5

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 34,854

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 32,255

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.838

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Image: People walk in an allee near the Brandenburg Gate during a sunny day in Berlin.
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters.
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10. Sweden

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.4

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 7.4

Health index (life expectancy): 0.969

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 6.6

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 35,837

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 32,314

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.842

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Image: Henrik Widlund looks out during the wolf hunt in Hasselforsreviret, central Sweden.
Photographs: Reuters.
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11. Switzerland

Life expectancy at birth (years): 82.3

Health index (life expectancy): 0.983

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 5.2

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 39,924

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 36,954

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.858

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Image: A gardener prepares the dial made of plants, of a giant clock during sunny summer weather at the borders of Lake Zurich.
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters.
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12. Japan

Life expectancy at birth (years): 83.4 

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 6.5  

Health index (life expectancy): 1.000  

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 32,295 

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 29,692  

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.827  

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Image: A Thai tourist poses with Disney character Piglet at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, north of Tokyo.
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters.
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13. Hong Kong, China (SAR)

Life expectancy at birth (years): 82.8

Health index (life expectancy): 0.990

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 4.5

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 44,805

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 39,255

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.874

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Image: A visitor takes a picture in front of Two IFC, Hong Kong's highest commercial building, on a sunny day.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters.
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14. Iceland

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.8

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 7.7

Health index (life expectancy): 0.975

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP): 7.4

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 29,354

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 33,980

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.814

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Image: Bathers at the Blue Lagoon hot springs swim in hot mineral waters amid a chilly wind as a thermal electricity plant looms in the background.
Photographs: Reuters.
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15. Republic of Korea

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.6

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 3.5

Health index (life expectancy): 0.956

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 28,230

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 25,493

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.808

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Image: Members from a Chinese tourism delegation visit a beach area at Mount Kumgang resort in Kumgang.
Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters.
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16. Denmark

Life expectancy at birth (years): 78.8 

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 8.2

Health index (life expectancy): 0.928

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $) 34,347

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 32,252

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.836

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Image: Child models present creations for the Spring/Summer 2012 collection at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair for Kids.
Photographs: Reuters.
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17. Israel

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.6

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 4.5

Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4

Health index (life expectancy): 0.972

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 25,849

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Image: An aerial view shows Saint-George Yacht Club surrounded by construction work in Beirut.
Photographs: Cynthia Karam/Reuters.
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18. Belgium

Life expectancy at birth (years): 80.0 

Expenditure on health, public (% of GDP): 7.0

Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5

Health index (life expectancy): 0.947

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $) 32,395

GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $) 33,357

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.832

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Image: A visitor walks past one of a hothouse on the grounds of the Belgian royal family's residence of Laeken in Brussels.
Photographs: Reuters.
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19. Austria

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.9

Health index (life expectancy): 0.976

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 4.5

Education index (expected and mean years of schooling): 0.981

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 34,431

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $): 34,259

Income index (GNI per capita): 0.837

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Image: A tourist takes a picture of the basilica of the Styrian town of Mariazell.
Photographs: Herbert Neubauer/Reuters.
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20. France

Life expectancy at birth (years): 81.5

Health index (life expectancy): 0.971

Education index (expected and mean years of schooling): 0.870

Public expenditure on education (% of GDP) 5.6

Education index (expected and mean years of schooling): 0.870

Combined gross enrolment in education (both sexes) (%) 94.5

Income GNI per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $) 30,462

GDP per capita in PPP terms (constant 2005 international $)29,578

Income index (GNI per capita):$0.819


Image: The general view of the Louvre Museum with its glass Pyramid entrance designed by Chinese-born US Architect I.M. Pei.
Photographs: Regis Duvignau/Reuters.
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