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Switzerland ranked top country in world for 'human development'

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Switzerland ranked top country in world for 'human development'
Swiss flag throwers attend the final day of the 14th International Alphorn contest on the mountain pasture of Tracouet above Nendaz in the southern Swiss Alps on July 26, 2015. The wind instrument, which is a part of the Swiss folklore, is made of wood, has a cup-shaped mouthpiece and is used by mountain dwellers in Switzerland. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

In a new global ranking by a United Nations agency, Switzerland was handed top spot.


In terms of average life expectancy, level of education, and standard of living, Switzerland is ranked in the first place out of 191 countries, according to the new Human Development Index (HDI), released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

It is the first time Switzerland nabbed the top position in the annual ranking, though it always hovered near the top, ranking third in 2020.

"The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living», the researchers explained.

Switzerland excelled in all three categories, scoring the HDI value of 0.962 for 2021, the value which positions the country "at 1 out of 191countries and territories".


Switzerland did particularly well in the life expectancy category, as average lifespans have risen over the past three decades from 77.4 to 84 years.

READ MORE: Life expectancy: Swiss set to live longer and prosper

During the same period, the country’s Gross National Income per capita jumped from 59,117 to 65.011, and years of education among its young people increased on average by 3.3 years.

In all, Switzerland’s HDI went up from 0.851 to 0.962 — an increase of 13 percent

However, the country did less well — though still maintaining its top spot overall — in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) category, which measures reproductive health, empowerment, and labour market participation.

"Switzerland has a GII value of 0.018, ranking it 3 out of 170 countries in 2021", the report states.

You can see the results here.

This finding corresponds to the official government assessment which concedes that “gender inequality remains high in Switzerland".

This gap is particularly visible in terms of general leadership, in the workplace, and in wages.

READ MORE: Revealed: The true size of Switzerland’s gender pay gap

You can read more about the HDI and see how various countries compare in this PDF document.



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