Ireland has been named the fourth best place in the world to live in a global survey on living conditions.
The report, from the UN, also stated that quality of life has risen faster in Ireland than any other country over the past five years.
The UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) is able to create lists by taking three separate aspects of human development into account.
1 – The ability to live a long and healthy life, which is measured by life expectancy at birth.
2 – The ability to acquire knowledge, which is measured by the average and expected number of years of schooling.
3 – The ability to achieve a good standard of living, which is measured by gross national income per capita.
The results showed that between 2012-17 Ireland jumped 13 places from 17th to 4th and is now behind just Norway, Switzerland and Australia.
While Ireland has moved up in the rankings in terms of human development, there is still some way to go in terms of gender equality.
Ireland is only 23rd on the list for gender equality, which takes us outside the top 10 (11th place) when the HDI is adjusted to take gender equality figures into account.
Just under a quarter (24.3%) of seats in parliament in Ireland are held by women. By contrast, 43.6% of parliamentary seats are held by women in Sweden.
Irish people’s life expectancy is 83.6 For women and 79.7 for men.
Norway was the country with the highest HDI and the life expectancy was an average 82 – Niger had the lowest HDI and average life expectancy was just 60.
In Ireland, the average years of schooling was 19.7 for women and 19.5 for men. In Niger it was just five years.
UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said: “Children in low human development countries can expect to be in school seven years less than children in very high human development countries.
“While these statistics present a stark picture in themselves, they also speak to the tragedy of millions of individuals whose lives are affected by inequity and lost opportunities, neither of which are inevitable.”
Since 1990, average HDI levels have steadily increased. The least developed countries have seen the fastest increase (51%) while globally, HDI levels have increased by 22%.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling