This Country Is Still the Best Place on Earth to Live

A view from across the harbour towards Bryggen and the town of Bergen. (Photo by: Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Photograph by Loop Images UIG via Getty Images

Scandinavia’s reputation as a great place to live is still going strong.

Norway has maintained its 2014 spot on top of the Human Development Index rankings in a report released by the United Nations this week. The index was designed in 1990 to give a fuller picture of livability by combining income data with health and education statistics instead of ranking countries on economic achievement alone.

Australia and Switzerland took second and third place, respectively. The U.S. ranked eighth.

Norwegians enjoy a life expectancy of 81.6 years, with a mean of 12.6 of those years in school, according to the report. The gross national income per capita is $64,922.

Human development as measured by the index continues to improve globally but at a slower pace than in the millennium’s first decade. Between 2010 and 2014, the HDI for developing countries grew by 0.7% annually, compared with 1.2% annually between 2000 and 2010, according to a press release from the United Nations Development Program.

Niger, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea rounded out the very bottom of the list. In the Central African Republic, life expectancy is as low at 50.7 years, and Niger reported a mean schooling time of just 1.5 years.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.