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For almost a decade (up to the year 2001), Canada was ranked number one among 175 countries in the United Nation’s Quality of Life survey.

Canada still manages to maintain a relatively high standard today. According to the 2005 UN Human Development Index 2005, Canada was ranked fifth overall.

What is the United Nations Human Development Index?
The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) examines the health, education and wealth of each nation’s citizens by measuring:

  • Life expectancy
  • Educational achievement – adult literacy plus combined primary, secondary and tertiary enrollment
  • Standard of living – real GDP per capita based on PPP exchange rates

The UN also computes a Gender-Related Development Index that extends the HDI to take into account gender differences in the ranking criteria. Canada ranks well in this category: 2nd in 2002, 1st in 1997, and 2nd in 1996. Canada has the best educated people and the highest literacy rate in the world. Canadians live longer than anyone on the planet, except people in Japan and Iceland.