Chile remains the nation with the best standard of living in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) report released by the United Nations.
The South American nation placed 44th on a list of 187 countries that considered a broad range of economic and social factors, including average per capita income, life expectancy at birth, literacy rates and average years of schooling.
Other high performing countries in the region included Argentina, which was in 45th place, and Uruguay and Cuba, which ranked 48th and 51st, respectively.
Norway was named the country with the best standard of living worldwide, closely followed by Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Canada.
On a scale of 0 to 1, Chile achieved a score of 0.805 points and was placed in the “very high” category, alongside the 47 countries with the world’s highest human development levels and significantly developed economies.
The study demonstrates that Chile has made important improvements over the past three decades, with life expectancy increasing 9.9 years and average incomes rising by more than 150 percent.
“Human development is a long-term phenomenon,” Rodrigo Márquez, a Chilean researcher involved in the UN Development Programme, told Chilean newspaper La Tercera.
“[This] is not simply an index for looking at the current situation – it also recognizes the history of each country and outlines their future challenges.”
While Chile has a lower average per capita income than Argentina, it scores higher on the ranking thanks to better schooling rates and a higher life expectancy.