UN rates Netherlands 4th in Human Development Report

The Netherlands has been ranked 4th in this year’s United Nations Human Development Report. A total of 187 countries are rated in the report, based on indicators including standard of living, education and longevity.

The top five countries were Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States.

Findings for 2014

The main findings of this year’s report are that although world poverty is declining overall, 2,2 billion people live in poverty or near-poverty, and 1,2 billion people are living on less than 1,25 US dollars a day.

The five lowest-ranked countries are all located in sub-Saharan Africa, where population growth is high but the dichotomy between rich and poor is growing and living standards remain below average.

Human Development Index

To rank the countries the UN report calculates a Human Development Index for each nation. This measurement is based on a combination of many indicators including life expectancy, attained education levels and income.

The 187 ranked countries are then divided up into four categories of human development: very high (rankings 1-49), high (50-102), medium (103-144) and low (145-187).

Indicators for the Netherlands

The report shows a steady increase in the Netherlands’ Human Development Index over the past 30 years, rising from an index level of 0,8 in 1980 to 0,915 in 2014.

Some indicators for the Netherlands include life expectancy at birth (81,04 years), mean years of schooling (11,89 years), gross national income per capita (42.397 US dollars) and employment to population ratio (61 per cent).

Other indicators are carbon dioxide emissions per capita (10,96 tonnes), and the Gender Inequality Index (0,057 or a 5,7 per cent loss in potential human development due to gender inequality).

2014 Human Development Index Top 10

1 Norway
2 Australia
3 Switzerland
4 Netherlands
5 United States
6 Germany
7 New Zealand
8 Canada
9 Singapore
10 Denmark

Report conclusions

The full title of this year’s report is "Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience". The report focusses on factors that are holding back human development progress. Such hindrances include financial crises, food price fluctuations, natural disasters and violent conflict.

The report proposes strategies to help advance and secure development progress, urging for universal provision of basic social services, stronger policies for social protection and full employment.

To see the full report and ranking click here.

Sources: Holland Trade , UNHDR

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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