Norway Best Place to Live In, Bulgaria 58thSociety | November 5, 2010, Friday // 16:13| views
The capital of Norway Oslo. File photo
Bulgaria is the fifty-eighth best country in the world to live in, according to an annual UN rating, with Norway topping the list yet again.
The assessment came in a so-called human development index, a measure of wellbeing published by the UN Development Program for the past 20 years that combines individual economic prosperity with education levels and life expectancy.
Norway does not top any individual category -- average income in Liechtenstein is a wallet-busting 81,011 dollars and Japan's life expectancy is 83.6 years -- but Norway's all-round performance gave it superiority in the UN Development Program (UNDP) 20th annual rankings.
Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Ireland followed at the top of the standings.
Zimbabwe came in last among the 169 nations ranked, behind Mozambique, Burundi, Niger and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bulgaria made its way to spot number 58 out of 169 countries in the list, up by three spots in comparison with its ranking last year.
Overall, the index contained some significant changes near the top compared with last year, with the United States rising from 13th to fourth and Iceland — hard hit by the global financial crisis — plummeting from third to 17th.
"The overall message is actually quite positive," Jeni Klugman, lead author of the report, told journalists. "What we find is that the world is much better off than it was," including a doubling of incomes in real terms over 40 years.
"On average rich countries have grown faster than poor ones over the past 40 years," said the report.
"The divide between developed and developing countries persists: a small subset of countries has remained at the top of the world income distribution and only a handful of countries that started out poor have joined that high income group," it concluded.
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