Top Five and Bottom Five Countries in U.N. Ratings
As in the U.N. Development Program's last review in 2011, Norway reigns supreme and the United States made the top five, while the African nations of Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo came in last.
As in 2011, Norway again in 2013 made the top of the list with a Human Development Index of 0.955. The CIA World Factbook estimates the country, with a population of 4.7 million, has a per capita GDP of $55,300 compared to $400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which ranked lowest.
Here, a Norwegian soccer player maneuvers around a German player during the Women's U19 Tournament match in Spain on March 11, 2013. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Bongarts/Getty Images
Australia placed second in 2013 with a Human Development Index of 0.938. The country of 22 million has 6.94 deaths per 1,000 population, according to the CIA World Factbook, compared to Mozambique -- the nation second to the last in the U.N. scale -- which has a death rate of 12.79 per 1,000.
Here, a Royal Australian Air Force officer and children attend a welcome home parade in Newcastle, Australia, on Oct. 11, 2009. Photo: Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images
#3 United States
When the U.N. Development Program factored in internal inequalities in health, education and income, the United States (with a 0.937 Human Development Index in 2013) dropped to No. 16 because of disparities particularly among Latinos and African-Americans.
Here, a migrant worker picks oranges at a grove in Bradenton, Fla., on March 29, 2006. Photo: Phillippe Diederich/Getty Images
The Netherlands (Human Development Index of 0.921) has a population of 16.7 million and a population growth rate of 0.45 percent, estimated the CIA World Factbook, compared to Chad -- ranked fourth from the bottom in 2013 -- which has a population of 11 million and a growth rate of 1.98 percent. Photo: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
In the 2013 rankings, Germany (with a Human Development Index of 0.920) nudged New Zealand (which got an HDI of 0.919 this year) from the fifth slot -- the only change in this year's top five. Photo: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images
#183 Burkina Faso
On the other end of the scale, Burkina Faso dropped into the bottom five this year with a Human Development Index of 0.343. Last year, Burundi was in that lowest group but rose five slots this year with an HDI of 0.355.
Here, people in the capital city of Ouagadougou line up to vote in Burkina Faso's legislative and municipal elections on Dec. 2, 2012. Photo: Ahmed Ouoba/AFP/Getty Images
Chad (with a Human Development Index of 0.340) hasn't seen the sustained fighting of its civil war from about 1960-1990, but is still sometimes drawn into the ethnic and rebel clashes of its neighbors in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images
The coastal Southeast African country of Mozambique ranked second to last (with a Human Development Index of 0.327) but its economy grew more than 7 percent per year from 2010 to 2012 partly due to investments in its gas sector.
Here, people in Mozambique's capital Maputo set free pigeons on Oct. 4, 2012, to mark the 20th anniversary of the peace agreement that ended Mozambique's civil war. Photo: Ferhat Momade/AFP/Getty Images
Tied #186 DR Congo and Niger
Tied for No. 186 in the U.N. Development Program's rankings, the African nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger (each with a Human Development Index of 0.304) continue to struggle with drought and conflict, but have made strides in school attendance, life expectancy and per capita income growth, according to the UNDP.
Here, a veterinarian feeds a bonobo at the "Lola ya Bonobo'" (Paradise for Bonobos) sanctuary outside the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa on March 5, 2013. Photo: Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images