Key Message of the year: WE LIVE LONGER AND BETTER

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The world has made great progress over the last few decades. Life expectancy, income and education levels have all increased worldwide, according to the UN Development Index. Lifespans have increased in nine out of every ten countries, four in five people are now able to read and write, and the least developed nations now enjoy an average income that is almost three times higher than in 1990.

Eastern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are the regions that have taken the greatest strides in recent years. In fact, the so-called least developed countries are now developing 4.6 times faster than the most developed countries. If this trend continues, the poorest regions will gradually be catching up to the richest nations.

The UN Development Index measures each country’s level of development on a scale from 0.0 to 1.0. To reach the highest score on the index, a country’s citizens must on average expect to live at least 85 years, with an income of at least 75.000 dollars per year, and achieve 15 years of education. Norway has been leading the index since 2001.