Chile has the highest level of human development in Latin America, a recently released report by the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) shows.
The Human Development Report 2010 ranks Chile 45th in the list, just three spots down on the report’s table from the group of countries that the United Nations rates as having “very high human development,” including Poland, Portugal and Barbados. Chile’s neighbor, Argentina, is the second highest Latin American country on the list at 46th.
“In the long term (Chile) has done well,” Rodrigo Marquez, a researcher for the Chilean portion of the report, was quoted saying in the local newspaper La Tecera. “It has had the capacity of transferring economic opportunities into opportunities for the people.”
Titled “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development,” the report measures a country’s achievements in areas such as health, education, access to resources, overall life satisfaction, safety and security, and affordable housing. The report also includes measurements such as a gender inequality index and a maternal mortality ratio.
A notable achievement in Chile is that mortality rates are around 60 percent of what they were 30 years ago, according to the study.
Scandinavian nation Norway topped the rankings in the report while Zimbabwe in the Sub-sahara of Africa, placed last.
Responding to the report, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera was quoted in the Spanish news agency EFE saying that the government is focused on reducing inequalities while continuing the country’s strong growth as it aims to match first-world wealth by 2018.
“We have proposed for ourselves in our country and for a long time to accomplish a better equilibrium between development and equality. Because here we can not make mistakes, nor get close to either of the 2 extremes.
“Our government has set ambitious, very concrete and measurable goals,” President Piñera added. “Before the end of this decade it must defeat under-development, defeat poverty and create a society of opportunities, safeties and values.”