Jamaica’s 96th place ranking is still in the ‘high human development’ category but is six places away from the category of countries with medium human development.
The 2014 index was launched today by the UN’s Human Development Report Office in Japan.
The human development index measures the quality of life using statistics drawn from life expectancy, education levels and incomes.
The index categorises 187 countries in four categories – very high human development, high human development, medium human development and low human development.
Norway, in Europe is the number-one-ranked country while, Niger, in Africa is the lowest.
Brazil, a major developing country which was tied with Jamaica in 85th place last year, has improved to 79th this year.
Cuba is the highest-ranked Caribbean nation and also the only one to have made it into the ‘very high human development’ category.
Haiti is the only regional territory in the low human development category.
Meanwhile, according to the United Nations, this year’s report shows that overall, global trends are positive and human development is advancing.
About 1.5 billion people are afflicted with ‘multi-dimensional poverty’, that is, overlapping deprivations in education, health and living standards.
A further 800 million are at the brink of falling back into poverty with nearly 80 per cent of the global population lacking comprehensive social protection.
Ranking of Caribbean countries on the 2014 Human Development Index
Cuba – 44
The Bahamas – 51
Barbados – 59
Antigua and Barbuda – 61
Trinidad and Tobago – 64
St Kitts and Nevis – 73
Grenada – 79
Belize – 84
St Vincent and The Grenadines – 91
Dominica – 93
Jamaica – 96
St Lucia – 97
Suriname – 100
Dominican Republic – 102
Guyana – 121
Haiti – 168