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Countries with the Highest HDI

Name the countries with the best quality of life as measured by Human Development Index.
2018 UN report, except for countries in bold which use earlier non-UN data
Hong Kong is given because it is not a sovereign nation
Quiz by mac212121
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Last updated: October 30, 2018
First submittedApril 18, 2012
Times taken64,001
Rating4.74
4:00
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 / 22 guessed
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HDI
Country
0.961
San Marino
0.956
Monaco
0.953
Norway
0.944
Switzerland
0.939
Australia
0.938
Ireland
0.936
Germany
0.935
Iceland
HDI
Country
0.933
Hong Kong
0.933
Sweden
0.932
Singapore
0.931
Netherlands
0.929
Denmark
0.926
Canada
0.924
United States
0.922
United Kingdom
HDI
Country
0.920
Finland
0.917
New Zealand
0.916
Belgium
0.916
Liechtenstein
0.909
Japan
0.908
Austria
0.904
Luxembourg
+5
level 34
Jul 9, 2012
Only missed Slovenia and I still can't believe it made the list. Way to go Slovenia!
+4
level 32
Sep 4, 2013
lol sorry bro, slovenia isnt there anymore as of 2013, US is third now
+2
level 77
Dec 11, 2013
Slovenia is currently tied for 21st... still not shabby and probably better than a lot of people would assume. They're ahead of the Spain, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Italy, the UK, Portugal, Qatar, the UAE, etc... that's pretty impressive. and if Hong Kong wasn't included then they would be top 20.
+2
level 49
Jan 19, 2015
I guessed Slovenia.. I figured they are a country that is working on fixing its problems and have a strong economy ... growing middle class etc
+3
level 74
Oct 4, 2018
lol sorry bro, US is 13 now
+3
level 60
Oct 14, 2018
USA is 15 now. Wonder what could have happened?
+5
level 77
Dec 10, 2018
The gap between these countries is not large and the methodology is often being revised.
+1
level 60
Jan 30, 2016
Having been to Slovenia, I'm not surprised they're ranked that high- it's a beautiful country, has great roads, and seems to have pretty good infrastructure.
+1
level 49
Mar 11, 2018
slovenia is gone, I kept guessing it cause it was on here before haha
+7
level 37
Jul 9, 2012
Yay for Israel! Best country in the middle east :)
+2
level 24
May 31, 2013
Well of course it is, but how the heck did it make it onto this list? being threatened by rocket hail fire is apparently fine to the people who did the survey :P
+2
level 22
Aug 23, 2013
It's HDI not a survey. I believe it's based on average income, life expectancy and percentage of adults with a tertiary education but i'm not really sure.
+2
level 77
Nov 3, 2013
Some of these countries that people are surprised to see on the list (or ranked so high) do have a pretty high percentage of college graduates. Wouldn't surprise me to see that was part of the criteria. Though personally I still hold the things I listed below are more important to quality of life.
+1
level 77
Dec 11, 2013
Wikipedia: The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and quality of life for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.
+1
level 59
Dec 1, 2014
Not such a surprise that Lebanon is not on the list......
+4
level 70
Dec 5, 2014
As someone who lives in Israel, I can tell you that it sure feels safe here. There's hardly any violent crime. . . no muggings, drive-by shootings, or school kids with guns. Kids aren't kidnapped off the streets, and if you get a flat tire on the highway, someone is sure to stop and change it for you.
+4
level 77
Dec 7, 2014
I've been in Israel a couple months now and I was actually surprised to meet so many people here who complain about feeling very unsafe, and also upset about the low quality of life... seems okay to me, but I guess the government has some interest in keeping people scared.
+4
level 57
Aug 25, 2015
Israel is the only good country in the Middle-East. I'm surprised it made the list, what with all the hate is gets from Islam and the rest of the Middle-East. Until they built that wall, suicide bombers were running in every other day.
+3
level 50
Oct 4, 2018
It’s a false state
+2
level 66
Jul 9, 2012
I'm horrified that the UK didn't make it into the top 20!
+1
level ∞
Oct 12, 2014
They made it now!
+3
level 77
Nov 8, 2016
Unlike those filthy Austrians, Belgians, Finns, Taiwanese, Qataris and Luxembourgers... living in squalor. :D If the USA failed to make this list the way they have, you all know what's what people would be saying. Even though it would be no less ridiculous than what I just said.
+5
level 67
Mar 10, 2018
Those are your words Kalbahamut......... not funny and not clever.
+9
level 69
Mar 12, 2018
Funny? No, not really. Clever? Debatable. But certainly true. There is a definite double standard, with the US held to a much higher standard than other developed countries. I'm quite sure if, as Kalbahamut says, the US were to narrowly miss out on this list, half the comment section would be crowing. Is it fair? Again, debatable. Perhaps the world's first and only truly democratic superpower should be held to a higher standard. Whatever your answer on that, Kal isn't wrong.
+1
level 32
Jul 9, 2012
Surprised the UK isn't on there
+1
level 60
Jul 9, 2012
Who would have thought that Slovenia would have a higher quality of life than the UK or Ireland?
+1
level 44
Jul 10, 2012
I'm sure the UK is on here....just done it in Geography and the UK was around 10th......
+1
level 77
Dec 11, 2013
28th for the quiz year's data. In 2013 they moved up two spots to 26th. Good job.
+1
level 44
Jul 10, 2012
Go Israel :-)
+1
level 69
Jul 10, 2012
Ireland has got a higher quality of life...
+1
level 35
Jul 10, 2012
The UK isn't there?! Wut?
+1
level 22
Jul 13, 2012
The UK should be on here - just looked it up, it's listed as #12
+1
level ∞
Jul 16, 2012
The UK is number 28:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index
+2
level ∞
Oct 3, 2018
Now up to number 13! Nice work UK.
+5
level 32
Jul 17, 2012
Ok I can't take this data serious at all... I'm from Switzerland and can tell that we definitely have a higher "HDI" than Germany and the U.S.... I don't want to express that this has to influence the quality of a single person, but still, the nation is way more richer than the other two
+1
level 34
Mar 29, 2017
Way richer, not way more richer
+1
level 58
Feb 19, 2018
Double comparative notwithstanding, Switzerland is higher than Germany and the U.S. as of this date.
+2
level 71
Dec 10, 2018
According to my German gut, Switzerland ranks higher than Germany as well.
+1
level 37
Jul 18, 2012
Hey sorry what, I guess little Switzerland is only good at banking, skiing, and eating chocolate. Doesn't fit in with the big leagues
+2
level 77
Nov 3, 2013
also making watches, yodeling, making cheese, and hiding Nazi gold.
+1
level 77
Nov 3, 2013
though in fairness pretty much everybody I know who has ever been to Switzerland absolutely loves the country and lists it at the top or near the top on their list of favorite places.... but... agree with some of the sentiment here that it is enjoyable seeing self-important people being taken down a peg.
+5
level 61
Jul 12, 2018
Self important people.... pot, kettle....
+1
level 77
Oct 4, 2018
I'm sorry that you are having trouble separating truthfulness from self importance.
+1
level 74
Oct 4, 2018
And making that chocolate in the shape of a prism.
+1
level 58
Jul 28, 2012
What's sad is that I'm American and I didn't put my country until about 8 or 9 countries in.. I was like "NORWAY SWEDEN SWITZERLAND" bam bam bam lawl Surprised about the UK though.
+1
level 73
Dec 3, 2012
Then you're not a true red blooded patriotic 'Merican.
+1
level 77
Jan 6, 2013
Never really agreed with the HDI... or that high HDI = high quality of life... the criteria they use is so narrow and there are much better things for determining quality of life that they don't even consider like climate, entertainment, culture, and the availability of attractive easy women. But I still got all but 3 of these.
+1
level 77
Nov 3, 2013
a year later I got 100%. I think Slovenia tripped me up before.
+5
level 59
Aug 8, 2014
I hope this was partially a joke, but I'll post this anyway. I for one agree with HDI very thoroughly. Everyone has their own taste in climate. I come from Estonia (think of it as Finland) and I can't stand temperatures above 25 Celsius. Below -25 C is just fine for me. The cultures of countries are different and it'd be offensive to call some cultures better than others. One more thing, attractive easy women might lead you to bad situations. Plus they don't work as good as their more intelligent counterparts.
+1
level 76
Dec 1, 2014
So you're saying that all ugly, moral women are intelligent and hard-working?
+1
level 77
Dec 1, 2014
It wasn't a joke at all. As a species we are designed to want sex almost as much as air and food and water. If it's easier to have it, this will improve your quality of life. In some societies it has become so difficult to obtain that people have become moralistic prudes who spend a lot of their time spitefully condemning Charlie Sheen and Miley Cyrus for having more interesting lives than they themselves have. It's sad, and as this is a product of the cultures that produce those people I would say this is one of many ways we can objectively measure the worth of those cultures, whether it offends somebody or not. As Sam Harris would say, and he's spent a career thinking about and writing on this subject, not all cultures or belief systems are equally good at producing happiness or contentment. Where we can measure the outcomes we don't have to adopt a relativistic stance on the causes. Saudi culture produce a lot of suicidal young women. Australian, not so much.
+1
level 71
Jun 20, 2016
I'm not jumping into to the discussion of women, but it is true that climate issues are scientifically proven to have actual effects on mental and physical health that are not tied to personal preference. For instance, sunlight is a proven regulator of mood; people who live in sunlight-deprived locales (either due to latitude or to climate issues such as rain or fog) have higher incidences of depression and alcoholism.
+1
level 77
Mar 24, 2017
^ yes. and suicide.
+7
level 41
Dec 3, 2014
You're talking about women as if they were a commodity, which is pretty offensive. Women and men should be considered as equals. You also seem to have a pretty heteronormative way of considering "sex": some men and women might not find that "attractive and easy women" is their heart's desire. It's not about being "prude" or "moralistic", it's about treating women the same way you'd treat men. Sex must be a willing act, where both partners consider each other as equals. You'd need to consider "the availability of attractive and easy men" an equal criterion, and I'm not sure most men (as for women) would agree to be categorized that way. Also, how would you define "easy" and "attractive"? These definitions, and also those of entertainment and culture, will differ in every country, as do political, social and religious constructs. Using a global classification process like the HDI can only use a limited number of criteria, and thus can only rely on observable and comparable data.
+1
level 77
Dec 4, 2014
I'm not doing what you're saying I'm doing. Your comments here are ridiculous. Women are brainwashed by patriarchal male-dominated society, where they are treated as property and commodities only good for marriage and must therefore preserve their sale value by remaining chaste and pure, in many places. By subscribing to the values of those cultures you are more guilty than I could ever be of reducing women to objects. The availability of quality bachelors, or attractive easy men (though, really, where in the world are men NOT easy? That's irrelevant) certainly are valid criteria and should be considered, though this isn't important to me personally.

You've got a point about attractiveness being subjective, though it can still be measured by consensus opinion. Not that that's going to be the best way for an individual. They can make that assessment themselves. Access to fulfilling sexual/dating/romantic opportunities can also be measured, as can sex-aversion/neuroticism.
+2
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
Weird.
+1
level 77
Mar 24, 2017
thanks
+1
level 32
Feb 21, 2013
Missed Leichtenstein and Slovenia...
+1
level 30
Apr 3, 2013
Take it easy guys, I'm sure this list is not 100% because that's impossible. Also, it would be silly to make generalizations about countries without having lived right throughout the country and making an accurate and objective judgement. Otherwise I'm very glad to see Australia at no.2 :)
+1
level 41
May 4, 2013
100% Too easy.
+1
level 24
May 31, 2013
The fact that Ireland finally makes it onto an elite list that the UK doesn't... Go Ireland!
+1
level 53
Jun 2, 2013
I'm so happy the UK isn't on here
+1
level 50
Sep 22, 2013
got Slovenia but missed Israel :|
+1
level 35
Nov 29, 2013
Got all with 40 sec left.
+1
level 82
Jun 1, 2014
I am surprised Finland isn't there. All the other nordic countries are.
+1
level 40
Mar 26, 2017
Gets Iceland [Tiny Voice] Yaaaaaaaay
+1
level 61
Nov 11, 2014
How could I miss South Korea?
+1
level 50
Dec 1, 2014
No Holland for Netherlands? No Korea for South Korea? Just saying.
+1
level 32
Dec 1, 2014
I understand the Holland one, but there are two Koreas
+1
level 63
Jan 22, 2019
Why? It is as wrong as calling america 'murica (though the words come from different places, so not comparible in every way, but equally wrong)
+1
level ∞
Dec 1, 2014
To be consistent with our other quizzes, Holland will work now. (Even though it's wrong).
+1
level 63
Jan 22, 2019
Why not just scrap it instead if perpetuating this..
+1
level 56
Dec 1, 2014
I am somewhat concerned that Austria is not there - which is where I live. Maybe the fact that there is STILL no complete smoking ban affects their rating. Honestly there is no excuse.
+1
level ∞
Dec 1, 2014
Austria is #21. They are #13 in "inequality-adjusted" HDI, while the US falls to #28.
+1
level 40
Dec 1, 2014
Notice how none of the primarily muslim middle eastern countries made the list.
+1
level 29
Dec 1, 2014
Why should that be a surprise?...they'll all second or third world countries, but that doesn't make them any less of a country than the ones on the list...I mean, I'd rather live/visit the likes of Turkey and Egypt than Slovenia or Liechtenstein
+2
level 71
Jun 20, 2016
Don't be dissing Slovenia! It's a beautiful country.
+1
level 40
Mar 26, 2017
Yeah New Zealand [The Best].... [Maybe]
+1
level 63
Jun 5, 2017
Liechtenstein is pretty boring, I admit--- you can see the same exact things in Austria or Switzerland. But Slovenia is definitely not a boring country, and is by no means an underdeveloped one either. Know more about them before you blindly throw names around to make a point.
+1
level 63
Jun 5, 2017
Many Islamic countries aren't poor --- Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE are all oil-rich countries. Although they may not be first-world countries, that doesn't mean that they aren't rich. If you really think that countries are being held back because of their religion, then you really have no idea how the world works.
+1
level 71
Jan 24, 2019
I think you'll find that religion, or more specifically, interpretation of that religion, is a major reason why most Islamic countries don't make lists like these. Some of the oil rich middle eastern nations do have immense wealth, but it is not distributed across the population very equitably. Similar for other criteria like education, healthcare and democratic freedoms (especially for women)
+1
level 32
Dec 1, 2014
I'm quite surprised the USA is so high seeing as they hardly get any holidays from work plus all the foreigners doing cheap labour.
+1
level 77
Dec 1, 2014
Holidays and number of foreigners are not part of the criteria for determining HDI. Why would the latter matter, anyway? Isn't the fact that the USA attracts millions more immigrants than any other country in the world sort of proof that they have high standards of living there? Other people want to go to the country and live and work there even if it means picking berries. I knew undocumented day workers in Virginia who made upwards of $20-$25 an hour working in the USA. Twelve years ago. Compare that to Saudi Arabia where the average Bengali floor sweeper earns $80 a month, or the average educated and qualified Filipina nurse makes at best $1000 a month, and you can see (part of) why it's such a desirable destination for immigrants.
+1
level 32
Dec 2, 2014
For things like this they should separate the UK up
+2
level 76
Nov 22, 2015
If they did that, they would probably have to put all the US states separately as well, seeing as there are probably more differences between some states than there are between the countries of the UK.
+1
level 51
Mar 28, 2017
Not to mention Australia and Canada. Oh, and Spain and France. Come on, practically every big country has diverse regions.
+2
level 16
Dec 4, 2014
Yep, Norway! Suck it people! (Only kidding)
+2
level 39
Dec 28, 2014
HDI and Quality of Life aren't the same things... there are separate rankings for these
+1
level 61
Jan 22, 2015
Only missed Israel.
+1
level 28
Feb 25, 2015
Unreal! I simply cannot believe Ireland and Iceland make this list. Both are on the verge of bankruptcy and Ireland in particular has all sorts of social ills, mostly related to religious issues. Japan has a lot of economic issues in recent years, too. I admit to being surprised. By the way, I had a problem with this quiz. It wouldn't show Norway, even though I tried typing it three times. But after my time was up, it showed I *had* got it. Just a glitch, I guess.
+2
level 71
Jun 20, 2016
I can't explain Ireland, but I do know that Iceland has something like a 98% literacy rate, and education very heavily weighted in the HDI.
+1
level 44
Mar 11, 2015
I'm surprised that there is no Austria and Belgium.
+1
level 77
Nov 18, 2015
Tied for 21 at the moment. Top 30 does not seem to be very stable with countries quite often slipping in and out the top 20.
+1
level 62
Nov 15, 2015
If you notice, all these countries are American allies or pro-Western in some way. I suppose the USA is in fact not the "Great Satan".
+3
level 19
Aug 24, 2017
-_- Because Western countries or countries in contact with the west are very modern, they have good life expectancies. People always put down western society as if there's a better society. Sure, there may be some OK countries sprinkled around, but look at Africa, most of Asia, and South America.
+3
level 45
Aug 6, 2018
That's partly because western countries have exploited others for so long. And also being an American ally has very little to do with it. If, say, Germany, suddenly decided to cut ties with the USA, then their HDI would likely not go down.
+1
level 77
Nov 17, 2015
What, no Vatican City?
+1
level 25
Jan 27, 2016
I got em all :D
+1
level 24
Feb 21, 2016
Was totally going to type "Australia" and then thought, "no, not Australia." I'm so mad!
+1
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
That is madness! Got them all WooHoo.
+2
level 34
Jun 3, 2016
I'm surprised the USA is so far above and Japan is so low. I guess it is to do with GDP but still....
+1
level 45
Sep 5, 2016
at 0.892 does Luxembourg not make the list?
+1
level 66
Nov 8, 2016
Seems the data is a little outdated. The latest table on Wikipedia shows a slightly different ranking and even gives no-UN scores for Monaco and San Marino which would come in at 1 and 7 in the list.
+1
level 40
Nov 8, 2016
I don't get how Israel beat France
+2
level 67
Nov 8, 2016
Although interesting, this quiz is nigh on useless as facts go. 0.06 is the difference between first and last. I've lived and worked in six of these countries and have stayed and travelled through many others. There is no country listed that has managed to give the 'Best Quality of Life' to all it's people, on the contrary, where many people live in luxury and with all the chances there are many with nothing for assets and no chance to better themselves.
+1
level 80
Mar 22, 2017
Wow, this quiz seems to inspire loads of heated commentary. So let me be the first 2017 commenter. What happened to Slovenia this year? I was just there and it's as beautiful, friendly and developed as ever...
+1
level ∞
Mar 22, 2017
The HDI numbers keep going up. So a country can fall off the list if its HDI doesn't increase as fast as others.
+1
level 84
Mar 23, 2017
Otherwise known as "List of Countries I Would Have No Qualms About Visiting".
+1
level 49
Mar 24, 2017
Israel and South Korea higher than Finland?
+1
level 49
Mar 24, 2017
When it's 2 or 4 thousandths (hundredths?) of a percent does it matter?
+1
level 62
Mar 24, 2017
Does anyone have any insight into why Monaco is not on this list? Very surprising.
+1
level 76
Mar 24, 2017
Read the earlier comments. It didn't generate enough data to be included on the list.
+1
level 65
Mar 24, 2017
Missed Israel :(
+1
level 62
Mar 24, 2017
Don't see too many religious countries on here...hmmmm....
+1
level 27
Mar 26, 2017
Or that many black or Arab countries. Makes you wonder.
+1
level 48
Mar 24, 2017
Aussie Aussie Aussie!
+1
level 69
Mar 24, 2017
Glad to see the UK back on the list. Why aren't microstates like Monaco/Andorra etc or rich oil states like Qatar/Bahrain on here though? Why doesn't their wealth correlate to their HDI? I'm sure there are reasons, but I don't know enough about these places to guess why.
+1
level 77
Mar 24, 2017
Bahrain is not very oil rich. Their oil has been exhausted and currently their economy, as far as I can tell, depends mostly on Russian, Chinese, and Moroccan prostitutes servicing the young Saudi men who flood across the causeway every weekend. They've also got some shopping malls and an F1 track but that's about it.

Qatar, Kuwait and the Emirates are more wealthy and have more oil but I think education and life expectancy lag behind wages in these countries, which could negatively impact their HDI score.
+1
level 69
Mar 25, 2017
Interesting, thanks
+1
level 77
Oct 4, 2018
I've been told by my friends who are still in Bahrain that some of the most notorious brothotels in Hoora have either closed up shop or gotten rid of the working girls on the premises, and now that they are allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia and they started opening up movie theaters there, too, Saudi weekend tourism to Bahrain has dropped dramatically. The island nation's economy might be in serious trouble over the next few years.
+3
level 58
Mar 24, 2017
UK will be back off the list next time...a nation going backwards
+1
level 71
Mar 10, 2018
That's my guess too, but I hope I'm proved wrong. Either way, it's a good test of the Brexit decision.
+1
level 3
Mar 24, 2017
Roosa from Finland This the right order: 1 Norway 2 Australia 3. Denmark 4. Switzerland 5. Canada 6. Sweden 7. New-Zealand 8. Finland 9. United States 10. Iceland 11. Netherlands
+1
level 55
Mar 24, 2017
That's your opinion. This is based on statistics. (From Wikipedia) The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income per capita indicators. A country scores higher HDI when the life expectancy at birth is longer, the education period is longer, and the income per capita is higher. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an underdeveloped country.
+1
level 63
Jan 22, 2019
Uhm im pretty sure it is not just her opinion. Too detailed list and not an order you'd expect if someone told their personal preferences.

just because she didnt post her source doesnt mean it is an opinion. (Perhaps it is simply the latest data of the source you quoted, or another place that has more recent data than wikipedia)

+1
level 54
Mar 26, 2017
Otherwise I'd forget luxembourg and liechtenstein existed.. I'll show myself out ;
+1
level 48
Jul 4, 2017
Monaco and San Marino have yet to be official scored due to a lack of information, but Monaco is estimated in 2014 to be 1.074 and San Marino is estimated to be around 0.875.
+1
level 57
Jul 15, 2018
Finland ?
+1
level 40
Sep 29, 2018
GO NORWAY!!!
+1
level 71
Oct 4, 2018
Since Monaco made the list, I'm assuming that the number of Ferraris and yachts owned per capita figures highly into the HDI.
+3
level ∞
Oct 30, 2018
If I owned Monaco's soccer team, I'd rename them the Monaco Monocles to reflect the nation's proud culture as a tax haven for the megarich.
+1
level 63
Oct 30, 2018
Description says 20 but there's 22 answers!
+1
level ∞
Oct 30, 2018
Removed the number from the description.
+1
level 60
Dec 10, 2018
I'm used to the EIU report for HDI, surprised to see how different the UN report is!
+2
level 41
Dec 10, 2018
I'm not completely suprised France isn't here, but I am suprised the UK and US could get in and we couldn't. I'm sure they cheated the test ! (Disclaimer : I am kidding.)
+1
level 45
Dec 10, 2018
Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are all doing nicely without full EU membership. Take note UK.
+1
level 58
Dec 11, 2018
Yes but Norway and Iceland are in the EEA and Switzerland doesn't do passport check if someone passes through their borders so...take note UK.
+1
level 58
Dec 11, 2018
Benelux had me thinking for about two minutes before I realised I forgot them.
+1
level 62
Dec 11, 2018
Got them all with no wrong attempts. Good guessing!
+1
level 57
Jan 27, 2019
Got them all; Great Quiz! Another quiz with Human Capital, check this out, too: Human Capital Index - Top 25 Nations
+1
level 53
Mar 23, 2019
Vatican not doing so good?
+1
level 77
Oct 1, 2019
Since the well-being of children is such an important component of HDI and there aren't any children born in the Vatican I assume they don't even bother ranking them.
+1
level 42
Oct 6, 2019
Got all except Iceland. Nice play, icy boys