Ten Highest HDI Countries in Asia

Name the 10 Asian countries with the highest quality of life as measured by the Human Development Index.
2020 HDI Report except for the country in bold whose score is calculated by a different source
HDI measures life expectancy, income, and education
Using standard JetPunk definitions of continent boundaries - don't be a whiner
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: February 27, 2021
First submittedMarch 27, 2017
Times taken31,459
Rating4.41
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HDI
Country
0.938
Singapore
0.919
Israel
0.919
Japan
0.916
South Korea
0.911
Taiwan
HDI
Country
0.890
United Arab Emirates
0.887
Cyprus
0.854
Saudi Arabia
0.852
Bahrain
0.848
Qatar
+56
Level 58
Mar 28, 2017
whenever there's the disclaimer about jetpunk defined continents, and it is an asia quiz, always enter Cyprus. :)
+7
Level 63
Aug 23, 2017
It's like whenever there's a disclaimer on the "M Countries Quiz" that a "certain country has moved from the B Quiz," you know it's Myanmar/Burma.
+14
Level 43
Aug 23, 2017
Its not a definition by jetpunk its an official geographic fact. Cyprus is in Asia. Get over it!
+37
Level 69
Aug 23, 2017
Europe and Asia are the same continent if you go off of geographic fact. Their division is entirely due to culture, which Cyprus fits far better on the European side of.
+9
Level 23
Dec 21, 2018
Actually, Cyprus is technically in Europe even though it's closer to Asia. It does explain why Cyprus is in the EU.
+3
Level 56
Jan 29, 2019
Cyprus is a part of EU
+5
Level 46
Feb 8, 2019
The UN considers Cyprus as Western Asia. Being part of the EU is political, not geographical.

https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/m49/

+20
Level ∞
Apr 25, 2020
I'm considering moving Cyprus to Africa since it's actually closer to Africa then it is to Europe.
+1
Level 68
Aug 2, 2020
Replying to Carto, though, Asia and Europe started as geographic terms. The Greeks called everything to the east of the Aegean Asia and to the west Europe. If you look at maps that the Romans drew, you can see why they used the Aegean.
+5
Level 64
Feb 27, 2021
It's clearly a jetpunk definition, and a bad one. I suspect that Quizmaster knows it, but went too far down the rabbit hole to give in to reason now.
+1
Level 63
Feb 27, 2021
No, gandalf, it's just correct. You don't realise it yet. This is a mainly geography-based website, so the continent it is in is defined geographically. It is culturally part of Europe, yes, and it is in the EU, but that has absolutely no bearing on where it sits geographically. It's in Asia geographically. While it is closer to Africa than both Asia and Europe, practically no one says Cyprus is an African country.
+6
Level 74
Feb 27, 2021
Turkey is in NATO; Australia, Morocco, Israel, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon have or can participate in Eurovision; Israel, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey are part of UEFA; and Australia is part of the Asian Football Conference. Just because a country is a member of something doesn't mean that it is located in that region.
+2
Level 60
Feb 27, 2021
Actually, a geographic fact is that Cyprus is an island, and therefore not part of any continent
+1
Level 66
Mar 1, 2021
@YellowJacket I completely agree with that argument. No one is saying Jordan is part of Europe yet Eurovision can make them "culturally similar" to Europe. Also if you look at Cyprus only the Southern/Greek part of Cyprus is culturally European, not the Northern/Turkish region which is culturally Asian.
+1
Level 53
Feb 27, 2021
Cue the Cyprus debate
+1
Level 69
Mar 1, 2021
[see above]
+5
Level 76
Mar 28, 2017
Cyprus...
+2
Level 41
Mar 28, 2017
lol, 4/10
+17
Level 63
Aug 23, 2017
I like the "don't be a whiner" warning. Once I saw it I immediately knew what it was talking about.
+15
Level 82
Aug 23, 2017
Can't believe Saudi Arabia scores higher than Kuwait.
+2
Level 61
Aug 23, 2017
+1
+1
Level 82
Feb 27, 2021
But like most of these cases of inexplicable rankings it comes down to the odd use of PPP. Saudi has a famously low cost of living... cheap (heavily subsidized gasoline), cheap housing, cheap food, probably priced in-part so that the many Bengali/Yemeni/Pakistani slave laborers in the country can afford to eat once in a while. It's also a huge spread-out country with many very poor people living in desert and rural areas and small villages. On the other hand 83% of Kuwaitis live in Al-Kuwayt, aka Kuwait City, and Kuwait City can be an expensive place to live. It would certainly appear that way measured in terms of the random basket of goods they use to determine PPP. But the people there are not poor. Virtually zero Kuwaiti citizens live in poverty. And while Kuwait has its share of poorer ex-pats, having known many in both places, the ones in Kuwait are better off. It's impossible with 1st hand experience to see these rankings as anything other than flawed.
+11
Level 63
Aug 23, 2017
Thank you for that "Don't be a whiner"-comment. Wouldn't have guessed Cyprus otherwise :P
+1
Level 49
Aug 23, 2017
Ughhh saudi arabia is higher than kuwait and georgia
+6
Level 82
Aug 23, 2017
Kuwait is strange. Georgia... not strange at all. Beautiful country. Lovely people. Delicious food. Interesting architecture. Open-minded women. Breathtaking landscapes. But... next to Kuwait pretty dirt poor. The worst highway I've ever been on in my life was one of the roads between Tbilisi and Yerevan.
+2
Level 54
Aug 23, 2017
I can't believe saudi arabia is even on this list. Quality of life? They don't deserve that spot or even mentioned in the category!
+17
Level 19
Aug 23, 2017
it's due to life expectancy and high levels of education. if they factored in gender equality, climate, human rights, or the ability to eat bacon, then it wouldn't be so high
+15
Level 68
Aug 24, 2017
not eating bacon immediately lowers your quality of life
+1
Level 53
Feb 27, 2021
Maybe that rule is to have the high level of life expectancy

(even though they are one of the top executioners in the world)

+3
Level 65
Aug 23, 2017
Saudi Arabia Quality Of Life?! Seriously?! It was in the news yesterday that a teenager got arrested for doing the Macarena for crying out loud. And I'm sure women are loving life in Saudi Arabia as well...
+16
Level 82
Aug 23, 2017
It's a very short list of things they factor. Life expectancy (Saudi Arabia's is 74.5, equal to Bulgaria and Georgia; higher than Lithuania, Belarus or Russia), income (Saudi Arabia's PPP GDP per capita is 10th highest in the world), and education (having worked in the education sector in the country I know firsthand that Saudi education is a complete joke, but a high percentage of Saudis have cheated their way to tertiary degrees).

If they factored things like... gender equality, climate, sexual freedom, entertainment venues, condition of expat slave laborers, human rights, press freedom, or availability of quality pork products then Saudi would of course rocket straight to the bottom of the list.

+6
Level 68
Aug 23, 2017
Quite so. My quality of life would be considerably lower if I didn't have access to high quality sausages. Isn't it time to look at the criteria?
+1
Level 53
Feb 27, 2021
Maaayyybe we could use this for quality of life rankings ("Beyond the essential ideas of broad access to food and housing, to quality education and health care, to employment that will sustain us, quality of life may also include intangibles such as job security, political stability, individual freedom, and environmental quality")

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/quality-of-life-rankings

+2
Level 67
Feb 27, 2021
One of my uncles moved from Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia in the '90s. Since he was a doctor, he didn't have many problems personally, but he knew a young Bangladeshi man working as a cleaner who was mistreated to the point of physical abuse and forced to work outside in the scorching heat without rest. Luckily, my uncle knew someone with connections to people pretty high up in the Health Ministry, and I think he was able to secure that man's passage out of the country (or at least get him a better job).

Sadly, most laborers in Saudi Arabia aren't lucky enough to have those opportunities/connections and are stuck there permanently.

+1
Level 82
Mar 6, 2021
Frequently, work conditions are horrible, pay is offensively low, condition of accommodations is unacceptable, racism and abuse is omnipresent, employers and sponsors are dishonest and exploitative, and contracts are reneged immediately after the expat worker arrives in the country when their passport is confiscated and they are forced to sign a new worse contract.

But... it's pretty rare that these people get stuck in the country permanently. Unless they are refugees. Or if they try and skip out of their contract or escape from abuse and their sponsor reports them as delinquent. Then they often end up living under bridges in Jeddah waiting for years or decades for the worthless legal system to resolve the issue.

However, if you accept the abuse and maltreatment, and stick out the crap contract that you were forced to sign, then even poor Bengali and other expat laborers in the country do eventually have the option of being sent home. Usually after 2, 3, or 5 years.

+1
Level 82
Mar 6, 2021
Many choose not to because, as horrible as all of the above is, the situation in Bangladesh or Yemen or some of the other countries they come from is even worse.

Sometimes they end up kidnapped or trafficked, though. That does happen...

+1
Level 64
Aug 23, 2017
Easier than I thought. Had 53 seconds left.
+2
Level 76
Aug 23, 2017
Only 30% got Cyprus: the other 70% steadfastly insist it's in Europe ;-)
+2
Level 65
Sep 5, 2018
As soon as it said "Using standard JetPunk definitions of continent boundaries - don't be a whiner" I knew Cyprus was on here - why else do people whine about what continent is or isn't in Asia?
+2
Level 83
Oct 28, 2018
I don't whine. I always say that Asia is in Asia, and other continents are not :)
+7
Level 89
Oct 3, 2018
I'm sorry, but I'm going to whine about the standard JetPunk definitions of continents. My arbitrary system for dividing countries into continents is better than your arbitrary system for diving countries into continents!
+3
Level 35
Dec 10, 2018
Can you accept Republic of China or ROC for Taiwan?
+5
Level 70
Dec 21, 2018
If the UK Brexits, then it's not European? EU membership and Eurovision contest are not good arguments that a place clearly east of the Asian part of Turkey is not Asian. Why is it bad to be considered Asian? Why so much passion about it?
+1
Level 54
Dec 21, 2018
I remembered Middle East and others close by counted in the last 30 seconds, so I missed Israel and Cyprus.
+6
Level 60
Dec 21, 2018
Cyprus is in Europe
+2
Level 58
Dec 21, 2018
"don't be a whiner"
+2
Level 58
Dec 21, 2018
gfdi i typed "israel" but the timer ended just before it accepted it
+1
Level 46
Dec 21, 2018
*facepalm* did not see ASIAN in the title
+1
Level 16
Dec 21, 2018
Surprised to not see Georgia on this list as it is geographically Asian and I also thought Cyprus was in Europe.
+5
Level 59
Dec 26, 2018
Never will I ever accept Cyprus as an Asian country. It was the only one I didn't guess, because it did not even cross my mind.

So there...

+1
Level 74
Feb 26, 2019
But CYPRUS is in EUROPE!!!
+2
Level 74
Feb 26, 2019
Joking
+1
Level 74
May 22, 2019
Cypress is NOT part of Aisa!!
+3
Level ∞
Apr 25, 2020
Well that much is true. It definitely isn't part of Aisa.
+1
Level 86
Oct 27, 2020
No there are Cypress trees in Asia. I don't know about Aisa though.
+1
Level 75
Jun 21, 2019
Still tenth, after what happened to Khashoggi?
+2
Level 50
May 26, 2020
Actually Cyprus is common called a transcontinental country (same as Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, all European-Asian countries) so in these type of quizzes Cyprus should always be given by the author, to avoid confusion.

And that is by continent definitions.

If you try to go with the plates:

Remember Iceland is mostly on North American plate and everyone says they're Europe.

Malta is on African plate and everyone says it is Europe.

Even my country, Portugal, have territory on North American Plate (Azores) and African Plate (Madeira) and it's Europe.

Take in account that continents, even if continents are a geographical definition, they are in true fact a cultural construct (especially if we are talking about Europe and Asia, that stand in the same plate). So, if all this is a cultural construct: Cyprus stands on Europe; as culturally they are closer to Europe than any other continent (same as Iceland and Malta, that stand in other plates).

+1
Level 52
Jun 15, 2020
I 100% agree cyprus is a country that should be given.
+1
Level 65
Feb 27, 2021
no one else going to ask about Taiwan’s different source? ok, i’ll bite: QM, i’m guessing it’s because Taiwan isn’t in the UN that you couldn’t use UN statistics, but what was the alternative source?
+1
Level 41
Feb 27, 2021
Wow. Just wow. I was trying so hard but didn't get any right. Then I got Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, UAE and Israel and thought 'well...if that's what you consider Africa...'

Ran out of time, saw the results and was like 'WTF? Singapore? in Africa?'......then I saw the title of the quiz.....woooooops :D

+3
Level 65
Feb 27, 2021
According to the UN report you're referencing, Bahrain has an HDI of 0.852, not Brunei.
+1
Level ∞
Feb 27, 2021
Good catch. Brunei is not far behind at 0.838.