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Australia Ranked 2nd By The Annual Human Development Index

quality of lifeIf there are times you can see the Sun at midnight, you may be able to boast of being better than Australia. The rest of the world can safely forget the comparison. Australia has been rated 2nd, one rung below Norway (The Land of Midnight Sun), by the Annual Human Development Index.

The pan-global index measures quality of life in over 185 countries. For the second year on trot, Australia has taken the 2nd spot. It happens to be an extremely praiseworthy effort given the vast dimension of measurement standards used.

You can go through the report here.

In my opinion, any report which asks so many significant questions is bound to provide a deserving winner (and runners up).

The Human Development Index uses various parameters of judgment

How low is the mortality rate? What is the general life expectancy? What is the consumer spending? What is the per capita income? What kind of standards do the schools maintain?

There are so many more yardsticks of judgment. The judges keep in mind suicide rates or the degree of vulnerability towards accidents too.

A few high points

While Monaco has an impeccable life expectancy, closing on 90 years, Australia’s ‘82’ can’t be underrated either.

Critics keep talking harsh about the schooling system of Australia and yet conclusive tests undertaken by 15-year-olds prove otherwise. Our children are better placed than children of all but a few countries.

Our health spending is not going overboard and this allows us to invest in other areas of importance.

Australia also does very well on the Multidimensional Poverty Index, an index that includes poverty levels over three separate niches of Health, Education and Living Standards.

Zones of concern for Australia

This does not however mean that we cannot improve. On several counts, there is in fact an urgent need to improve. Let us take a look at a few such areas.

  • Our teenage-pregnancy rate is too high for comfort
  • We rank 17th on the gender inequality scale.
  • We are still more than dependant on fossil fuels.
  • We have witnessed rather rapid deforestation

Truth be told, we are the only country among the top 10 which has a lesser area devoted to forests than we had 20 years ago. It is also worth pointing that the Gender Inequality Index uses women empowerment, reproductive health and labour market as the measurement standards and we are not doing great over at least 2 of the 3 parameters.

The degree of our commitment towards excellence will determine our quality of life. For now, we are making the right moves.

Which issue do you want Australia to take up most urgently- Gender Inequality, Deforestation or Teenage Pregnancy?