The UN’s Best and Worst Places to Live

UNDP has just released the 2009 Human Development Report. It says that “Human Development is a development paradigm that is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means —if a very important one —of enlarging people’s choices.

Fundamental to enlarging these choices is building human capabilities —the range of things that people can do or be in life. The most basic capabilities for human development are to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community. Without these, many choices are simply not available, and many opportunities in life remain inaccessible.”

Below are the top 10 places with the best standard of living or countries with very high human development according to the UN report. Norway with a life expectancy at 80.5 and enrollment ratio at 98.6 dislodges Iceland from the #1 spot in the 2007/2008 HDI rankings. Click here for immigration information to Norway. The United States is #13 after Luxembourg and Finland. You want to redo your bidlist?

#1. Norway

#2. Australia

#3. Iceland

#4. Canada

#5. Ireland

#6. Netherlands

#7. Sweden

#8. France

#9. Switzerland

#10. Japan

Below are the bottom 10 places with the lowest human development according to the UN report. Afghanistan with a life expectancy at 43.6 and an adult literacy rate of 28% occupies the second to the last slot at #181 just above Niger. Would you be surprised if all the countries below (except one) and each one of the 24 countries in the low human development countries will have career diplomats as US ambassador representing the United States? All the countries listed below (except countries with annotatations) also have US missions staffed by FS personnel with family members .

#173. Guinea-Bissau (under US Embassy Senegal)

#174. Burundi

#175. Chad (Adult family members only)

#176. Congo (Democratic Republic of the) (Adult family members only)

#177. Burkina Faso

#178. Mali

#179. Central African Republic (Adult family members only)

#180. Sierra Leone

#181. Afghanistan (Unaccompanied assignment except Adult family members with authorization from “M”)

#182. Niger