Next Stop,Norway

A study has been released by the UN  that ranks the quality of life for 182 countries.The annual human development report was issued Monday in Bangkok by the UN development program. The index factors in life expectancy, literacy,school enrollment and  per capita gross domestic product.

Alas, we are not #1. But we are #13, well up in the category called very high human development. That section numbers some 38 countries or about 20% of the total. The list is headed by Norway, which is geographically very close to Denmark, which ranked #16. Hang on to that information for later.

The data that makes up theses rankings is from 2007 and comes from a variety of sources, many, it not most,affiliated with the UN. There is no doubt  alot of interesting data in these rankings and in depth analysis would reveal some quite interesting  things.For my part, I am  a bit curious as to how the US ranked where it did. It appears that a somewhat significant factor is life expectancy, which is lower here  than in  all of those countries  ranked higher. We also do not fare so well in gross domestic product per capita.

But anyway, it appears that the differences in the top tier are relatively small ones. I thought it interesting that some countries ranked higher than I would have expected and vice versa. For example, Saudi Arabia ranks about a third of the way down while Cyprus  and the United Arab Emirates ranked significantly higher than the Saudis.

It seems that the UN goal is human development, in the sense of people reaching their fullest potential. The paradigm was developed by Dr Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan, whose country, ironically ranks #141, near the bottom of the medium human development section.

Anyway, what to make of all this, briefly. Are theses kinds of statistical tools a method to  squueze the richer countries into doing more for those countries who lack resources, to simply publicize the disparities as a shame on you sort of thing? Perhaps, but for one not inclined to trust the UN approach in hardly anything, I remain suspicious. Oh, by the way, perhaps these numbers shed some light on the Obamas trip to Copenhagen. Denmark is ranked rather high and that Norway looks rather good from across the border. Maybe we need to come again with a little more time to  spend. Only kidding, a little. Oh yes, almost forgot. Our ranking would be much higher without the drag of the Bush effect.

October 7, 2009 - Posted by | Culture, Life | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I don’t trust anything that the UN has a hand in, just take a look who the member states are!

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 7, 2009 | Reply

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