Israel was ranked No. 18 on this year’s Human Development Index (HDI), a United Nations tool that measures world economies.
Published annually, the HDI ranks 188 countries in terms of economic strength, education, health, average life expectancy, and gross national product per-capita, as some of the parameters related to quality of life.
This year, Israel came out ahead of Japan (20), France (22), Spain (26), and Italy (27).
For the 12th year in a row, Norway has earned the top spot on the HDI list, and this year was followed by Australia (2) and Switzerland (3).
Israel has gone up one place since last year, having come in 19th in 2014. Many of the countries ranked below Israel have a GDP per capita that is higher than Israel’s. According to the index, the GDP per capita in Israel stands at US$30,600, compared to Belgium, with US$41,200. However, GDP per capita is only part of the equation. The index also examines the number of years of education, the number of infant mortalities during birth and the number of years of education predicted for children of the next generation.
The country ranked last on the index was Niger. The bottom of the list included other African countries like Eritrea (186), Chad (185), and Burundi (184).
Most Middle East nations were not given high rankings – Egypt (108), Jordan (80), and Lebanon (67).
The Palestinian Authority, considered a country by the UN, was ranked at 113.