Norway Tops U.N. Development Ranking; DR Congo Comes in Last

BY Larisa Epatko  November 2, 2011 at 4:11 PM EST


The Democratic Republic of Congo, with its ongoing violent struggle over natural resources, and Norway, with its $255 billion GDP, find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum in the U.N. Development Program’s annual rankings released Wednesday.

The 2011 Human Development Report ranked 187 countries according to income, education and health, based on information from the International Monetary Fund, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, and the World Health Organization. It assigned each country a Human Development Index from 0.943 — in Norway’s case — to 0.286 for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United States comes in fourth, but when adjusted for inequality, falls to No. 23. The UNDP took into account some countries’ inequalities in the areas of life expectancy, education and standard of living in terms of income, and adjusted the indices accordingly.

View the top and bottom five countries in our slide show.

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