A country with a highly developed economy and technological and infrastructural advancement is considered as a developed country. A lot of parameters are taken into account to evaluate the degree of development in a particular country. While it remains a subject of debate that which criteria is most appropriate to rank countries for their level of development but the commonly analysed factors are gross domestic product (GDP), per capita income, level of industrialization, life expectancy, standard of living and literacy level.
Another prominent term used to describe development of a country is Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI combines economic measure and national income with life expectancy and education to form a reliable rating. These HDI ratings divide the countries into four tiers of human development- Very highly developed, Highly developed, Medium developed and Low developed. As per these HDI ratings, which were last released on 24 July 2014, in Tokyo, here is a list of the top 15 most developed countries in world.
15. Hong Kong and South Korea
The 15th rank in the HDI list 2014 is shared by Hong Kong and South Korea since both have the GDI of 0.891. Currently a Special Administrative Region in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong is a leading financial center with a major capitalist service income. The GDP of Hong Kong is $369.4 billion and $51,494 per capita. Sharing the 15th spot with Hong Kong is South Korea. South Korea has a highly developed market with a high income economy. Its GDP is $1.6 trillion and $32,272 per capita. Against last year’s HDI ranking South Korea has moved up by 1 position while that of Hong Kong is unchanged.
14. United Kingdom
Measured by nominal GDP, United Kingdom has the 6th largest economy in the world. The major contribution in its GDP is made by the service sector which is 78%. Also its high life expectancy, i.e. 79, and high standards of living makes the country the 14th most developed in the world. In the past 30-35 years the life expectancy, expected years of schooling and GNI (Gross National Income), has substantially increased leading to its current HDI rating of 0.892. United Kingdom’s GDP is $2.3 trillion and $36,941 per capita.
With the HDI of 0.895, Iceland is the world’s 13th most developed country. The economy of Iceland is small and mixed with high levels of free trade. In 1990’s Iceland was ranked 1 on the bases of economic freedom and civil freedom. Going by the Human Development Index, Iceland was on the top in 2007. According to the latest ratings, Iceland has the HDI of 0.895. GDP of Iceland is $12.8 billion and $39,224 per capita.
Sweden’s strong economy and low unemployment rate are driven by public-private partnership which is considered as the core of “the Swedish model”. Also the country has a heavily tax-subsidized social security network. Sweden has a GDP of $393 billion and $41,191 per capita. Besides its economy, an advanced welfare system, high standards of living and a life expectancy of 81.89 has made the country 12th most developed in the world.
A member of Eurozone, Ireland has a modern and highly industrialized economy which focuses on services and high tech industries. The economy is dependent on trade, industry and investment and the country has a GDP of $192.2 billion and $41,921 per capita. Also Ireland has a high life expectancy which is 80.56 according to 2014 estimates and the country was found to have the best quality of life in world by a study in 2005. Its current position by the HDI ratings is 11th.
The Kingdom of Denmark enjoys a modern and mixed economy which is mainly service based as the country lacks in mineral resources other than oil and gas, and has to rely upon human resources. The life expectancy in Denmark is 80 years and the standard of living in the country is quite high. Denmark has a GDP of $210.1 billion and $37,657 per capita while its HDI rating of 0.9 makes it the 10th most developed country in world.
Against 2013’s HDI rankings, Singapore has moved up by 3 positions and currently is the 9th most developed country in world. A hi-tech and one of the most prosperous countries in the world, Singapore also enjoys one of the world’s highest standards of living. With a highly trade oriented market economy, Singapore has a GDP of $326.5 billion and $60,410 per capita and 4th longest life expectancy which is 84.38 years.
The 8th most developed country in world is Canada which is one of the world’s wealthiest nations and has an economy dominated by the service industry. Alongside, Canada also has vast oil reserves and it majorly exports energy, food and minerals. Canada has GDP of $1.5 trillion and $42,734 per capita while the life expectancy is 81.67 years.
7. New Zealand
New Zealand is a wealthy nation comprising of two main islands and many smaller islands. The country has a market economy which is prominently dependent upon agriculture but manufacturing and tourism also make significant contributions. The life expectancy in New Zealand is 80.93 and the country’s GDP is $132.0 billion and $29,730 per capita. With HDI of 0.910 it is world’s 7th most developed country.
The 6th most developed country, Germany is also the most industrialized, most populous and the largest national economy in Europe. The concept of social market economy forms the basis of Germany economy. The country is also one of the largest global exporters in world and is rich in minerals like nickel, iron, copper, natural gas etc. the GDP for Germany is $3.2 trillion and $39,028 per capita while the life expectancy is 80.44 years.
5. United states
World’s largest single national economy is United States which makes it the world’s foremost economic power. The country’s GDP of 15.7 trillion ($49.922 per capita) is almost a quarter of the total world’s GDP. Also the country has an abundance of natural resources, the infrastructure is well developed and the productivity is very high. Although the country lags a little behind in terms of life expectancy which is 78.75, US is the 5th most developed country in world.
The 4th most developed country Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy which largely depends upon foreign trade. However in the recent few years, the Dutch economy has been hit by the global financial crisis but the 2014 estimates GDP for the country is $707.0 billion and $42,194 per capita making it one of the richest nations in world. The life expectancy in Netherlands is 81.12 and the country has very high standards of living.
One of the world’s wealthiest nations, Switzerland has an extremely stable economy which follows the policy of long term monetary security making it a preferred choice for investors all over the globe. Apart from foreign investment, the country relies upon its high labor specialization, trade and industries to earn a GDP of $363.4 billion and $45,418 per capita. Needless to say, the country enjoys very high standards of living while the life expectancy is 81.38. Switzerland is the 3rd most developed country in world.
One of the largest capitalist economies in the world is Australia where the major contribution to its GDP of $970.8 billion ($42,640 per capita) is made by the service sector while mining and agriculture also make significant contributions. Apart from its wealthy economy, human development, healthcare and civil rights exercised by its citizens make the country the 2nd most developed in world. The life expectancy is very high at 82.07 years and the country has consistently maintained one of the highest standards of living in world.
The World’s most developed country is Norway with an HDI of 0.944. The economy of Norway is mixed and ever growing since the start of industrial era. The prominent contributor in its economy is the abundance of natural resources, mainly oil and gas, and the exports made by the nation. Norway’s GDP is $277.1 billion and $55,009 per capita. Norway has a strongly integrated welfare system, a life expectancy of 80.57 and extremely high standards of living compared to other European countries. The HDI of 0.944, which has gone up by 0.001 from 2013, gives it the number 1 position on this list of Top 15 most developed countries in the world.