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Once again, Norway has been voted the best country in the world for humans

Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
But of course.
  • Amy X. Wang
By Amy X. Wang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The United Nations’ annual Human Development Report, a behemoth study of every nook and cranny of the world, is out this week. And the countries that come up on top in the rankings portion of the report are entirely unsurprising.

Norway cinches the spot as the overall best country to live in, in the world—making this the 12th continuous year that it’s taken the title. Out of nearly 200 countries, Norway continues to score the highest in life expectancy, education, and standard of living, as well as in a number of smaller subcategories, boosting it to the top slot in the UN’s list (each country was given an average score from 0 to 1).

Life expectancy at birth in Norway is 81.6 years, and the country’s gross national income per capita is $64,922.

Norway’s continuous success hinges on a number of factors, including an oil-driven economy, robust healthcare system, and strong government structure. Not just a source of pride, its natural beauty also drives a lush tourism industry.

Close runners-up on the list, released Dec. 14, include Denmark, Australia, and Switzerland. The lowest-ranking countries on the entire list were Niger, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Chad, and Burundi. While most countries held steady in their rankings from last year, Syria fell 15 spots on the list, and Libya slid down 27 spots.

But here’s a more cheering suggestion of change, from another area of the same report: Though roughly 830 million people in the world are still classified as “working poor” (earning under $2 a day) by the UN, some two billion people were able to move out of extreme poverty over the last 25 years.

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