Children born today in highly developed countries have a life expectancy that is 19 years higher than children in the least developed countries.
They also spend seven years longer at school. This is shown by a report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that was announced today.
Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany are the top five in the so-called development index, the index of human development, which since 1990 compares the development rate of the UN member states.
Niger is the last to dangle at the bottom of the list, preceded by the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Anyone born at the top of the list in a country has a life expectancy of more than 80 years. At the bottom, that is barely 60 years.
In addition to life expectancy, poverty and education are criteria that are taken into account. Belgium is 17th on that index, with a life expectancy of 81.3 years.
Generally, people live longer, receive more education and earn more money. But when looked at in detail, there are huge discrepancies between developing countries and industrialized countries. “These statistics show the tragedy of millions of individuals whose lives are affected by inequality and lost opportunities,” says Achim Steiner, head of the UNDP.