Read any New Zealand based report about this year’s United Nation’s HDI results and you’d miss that fact that New Zealand has fallen in the rankings for consecutive years since it peaked in 2010. Instead you’d be forgiven, if you read the New Zealand media, for thinking that ninth place is as good as first (New Zealand has been ranked as one of the best countries in the world in a global snapshot of living standards, income and health).
Readers may remember way back when New Zealand had been languishing at around 19/20th place for some years, and how it suddenly rose to 3rd place when the calculation methods changed in 2010 (co-incidentally, this was shortly after ex-NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark was appointed Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in March 2009).
Here’s how the rankings have fared since 2008 (the ‘Clark years’ in green). New Zealand’s meteoric rise to 3rd place wasn’t able to be sustained – it has been falling slowly but inexorably back to where it belongs ever since.
The index is supported by another – the OECD Better Life Index. This is an internationally comparable measure of well-being in line with the recommendations of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress also known as the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission. It ranked Canberra as the world’s most liveable city for the second consecutive year in October 2014.
Here’s the list of the top 20 OECD Better Life Index – as ranked by the survey
On the bright side, every year there are more and countries that are better to live in than New Zealand.
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