Ranked: The World's Most Developed Countries, According to the U.N.

The Human Development Indices and Indicators report ranks each country by its quality of education, health care, income and other key aspects of life.
Ranked: The World's Most Developed Countries, According to the U.N. Getty Images

The world is getting healthier, a new report from the United Nations shows, with global life expectancy at birth almost seven years longer than in 1990. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia had the greatest average increase, with the average person in the two regions gaining about 11 years of life.

The "Human Development Indices and Indicators" report ranks each country in the world by its quality of education, health care, income and many other key aspects of life.

While developing nations have seen a huge improvement, European countries still dominate the list. Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore also make the top 10.

Ireland's rapid development has seen the country rise 13 places in the ranking since 2012—the biggest increase of any country—overtaking Germany to become the fourth most-developed nation in the world.

Turkey, the Dominican Republic and Botswana also shot up the rankings, gaining eight places each.

The U.S. has fallen five places since 2012.

Conflict-stricken nations also saw a decline in development. Syria fell 27 places, Libya saw a 26-place drop, and Yemen declined by 20 places.

Inequality persists. A child born today in Norway can expect to live to 82, while a child born in Niger, the country at the bottom of the rankings, will likely live to only 60. Other factors, such as education and income, also remain a lottery of birth.

Development is also segregated along gender lines. Women lag a global average of six development points behind men, due to lower income and less educational opportunities, in what the report labels a "key source of inequality."

These are the 50 most developed countries in the world, along with their life expectancy, years of schooling and income. The number in brackets indicates their ranking in 2012.

50. Montenegro (51) Human Development Index: 0.814. Life expectancy at birth: 77.3. Expected years of schooling: 14.9. Mean years of schooling: 11.3. Gross national income per capita: $16,779. Savo Prelevic/AFP