Israel Ranks High On Development Index

(August 1999)

The most recent United Nations "Human Development Index" ranks Israel among the 45 countries considered to have "high human development." Overall, Israel ranks 23rd out of 174 countries (Canada is ranked first, Norway second and the U.S. third). This index is considered more comprehensive than the standard measure of a nation's wealth, the Gross Domestic Product because it also includes factors such as population growth, infant mortality, life expectancy, and the quality of education and health services. 

On the life expectancy scale, for example, Israel ranked fourth (higher than the U.S.) and was a surprising fifth in population growth (2.4% annually, the highest of all developed countries). 

The top 25 countries in the human development index:

1  Canada 
2  Norway
3  United States
4  Japan
5  Belgium

6  Sweden
7  Australia 
8  Netherlands
9  Iceland
10 United Kingdom

11 France
12 Switzerland
13 Finland 
14 Germany
15 Denmark

16 Austria
17 Luxembourg 
18 New Zealand
19 Italy 
20 Ireland 

21 Spain 
22 Singapore
23 Israel
24 Hong Kong, China
25 Brunei Darussalam

Sources: United Nations Development Programme, "Human Development Report 1999" and Israel Government Press Office