Netherlands placed 5th in UN quality of life report
16 July 2004 AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands is the second best country in the EU for quality of life, according to new United Nations figures. The UN's Human Development Report 2004, which was released on Friday, also ranks the Netherlands fifth in the world in terms of health and life expectancy, education and earnings. It is placed second in the EU behind Sweden.
16 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands is the second best country in the EU for quality of life, according to new United Nations figures.
The UN's Human Development Report 2004, which was released on Friday, also ranks the Netherlands fifth in the world in terms of health and life expectancy, education and earnings. It is placed second in the EU behind Sweden.
The report said the Netherlands had an average life expectancy of 78.3 years and an average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 29,100 (EUR 23,420).
Sweden was second overall with a GDP per capita of USD 26,050 and an average life expectancy of 80, the highest in the world.
The Belgians came in sixth overall, with an average life expectancy of 78.7 years and an average GDP per person of USD 27,570. This places the Belgians in third place only to Sweden and the Netherlands within the European Union.
For the fourth year running, Norway comes out on top of the human development index, with a life expectancy of 78.9 years, 98 percent of its population enrolled in education and GDP at USD 36,600 per inhabitant.
It is closely followed by Sweden, Australia and Canada. Five of the top six countries had an educational index of 99, with Canada one point lower.
The educational index is determined by a nation's adult literacy rate and gross school enrolment ratio.
The US came eight on the index, although the GDP per capita at USD 35,750 was second only to Norway. Average life expectancy in the US was 77 years and the educational index was 97.
The UK was listed in 12th place, with an educational index of 99, but an average life expectancy of 78.1 years and GDP per capita of USD 26,150.
Reflecting the improvement in its economic fortunes in the 1990s, Ireland came in 10th with a GDP per capita of USD 36,360, but an average life expectancy of 76.9 years and an educational index of 96.
Of the 20 top countries, only Australia, Japan and New Zealand are not within Europe or North America.
The figures show that a total of 55 countries have a good quality of living, 86 have average and 36 a poor standard of living.
Sierra Leone keeps its unenviable position at the bottom of the 177 countries charted by the UN Development Fund.
Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali also trail nearest the foot of the index and the bottom 19 countries listed are African.
Around 30 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, do not feature on the list due to insufficient information.
East Timor makes its debut this year, ranking at 158.
The report stresses that development has stalled in sub-Saharan Africa due to the raging AIDS epidemic.
Thirteen countries have seen a real decline in this respect since the UNDP index began in 1990.
Life expectancy has dropped below 40 in eight countries, including Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where people live on average half as long as the Japanese.
Twenty-seven countries have been classified as an "absolute priority" for global aid.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news