How can you tell how developed a country is? By looking at their Human Development Index (HDI) score. Developed by the United Nations in the early 1990s, it measures a country’s social and economic development. More specifically, it looks at four areas: expected years of schooling, mean years of education, gross national income per capita, and life expectancy at birth.a
Which countries have the highest HDI? What sets them apart from other nations? Keep reading for the answers!
Top 10 Most Developed Countries In The World In 2023
Without further delay, let’s find out which countries have the highest HDI scores in 2023.
10. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a developed country with a high standard of living for most of its residents. It also has a robust economy with a GDP per capita of $57,700 and a GDP of $1.01 trillion. In fact, it’s one of the highest-earning countries in the world.
As of 2020, the Netherlands has an infant mortality rate of four deaths per 1,000 live births. Their average life expectancy is also high at 81 years.
While their environmental quality is below average compared to other countries, the life and health expectancies are comparable to those of other developed nations. The Netherlands also ranks high in terms of work-life balance, with nearly zero percent (compared to the global average of ten percent) reporting they are in the office for long hours.
Germany has the strongest economy in Europe and the fourth largest economy in the world, one that’s driven by a highly skilled workforce. It’s also known for delivering world-class quality products such as pharmaceuticals, machinery, electronics, and motor vehicles.
While its economy is expected to contract by 0.3 percent in 2023, it’s forecast to recover to 1.5 percent in 2024.
In 2019, Germany had the second largest surplus economy in the world, only behind China, with exports exceeding the number of imported products. Due to rising food and energy prices, however, this changed for the first time in 2022 since the early 1990s. By the end of the year, however, it had regained its surplus economy.
As of 2023, the country has a life expectancy of 81 years and a low infant mortality rate of three deaths per 1,000 live births.
The country also offers universal healthcare to all its citizens. In fact, nearly all Germans belong to a sickness fund that covers most necessary medications and medical procedures.
Despite its small population, Ireland has a high GDP per capita of $100,170. Not only that but they also have the fifth-highest GDP per capita in the world. Over the past decade, the country has also offered favorable tax treatments, which has led many multinational corporations to set up shops in the country. Due to OCED agreements, however, they announced in 2021 that they would be increasing taxes in the near future.
As of 2023, the services sector makes up 60 percent of the country’s GDP, with the agriculture industry making up the remaining 39 percent.
Their life expectancy is 82 and they have a low infant mortality rate of three deaths per 1,000 live births. The country also has a highly skilled and well-educated workforce that has attracted long-term foreign investment. Not only that but they’ve also invested a substantial amount in education.
Residents are also entitled to a variety of public health services including hospital care and medical treatments for free or at reduced cost.
Sweden is a developed country with a diverse export-oriented economy (the value of exported goods is higher than the value of imports). Not only do they have a high standard of living but they also have a high GDP per capita of $61,000.
While they have the highest income tax rate worldwide, they also have one of the lowest unemployment rates (8.7 percent as of 2021) and are known for having a high quality of life.
Like many European countries, Sweden also offers free healthcare and higher education to all of its citizens (the average citizen enjoys 20 years of free education), which contributes to their overall well-being. The country also has a life expectancy of 82 and infant mortality of two deaths per 1,000 live births.
Compared to other countries, Sweden is also known for its progressive policies on environmental sustainability and gender equality, two factors that contribute to its developed country status.
France is a wealthy, high-income country, one that has a highly developed social market economy- one that’s led by pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and tourism. They also have multilateral efforts that are aimed at promoting economic development and reducing poverty.
Compared to other countries, France also scores higher on the Better Life Index. Not only do individuals enjoy an outstanding work-life balance, but they also offer great public services. Healthcare is also affordable and accessible to all legal residents, including those who are currently unemployed.
Their life expectancy is also high at 83 years, which is two years higher than the OECD average of 81.
Australia has one of the biggest mixed-market economies in the world. Their major sectors include mining, health and education, finance, construction, and manufacturing. Their economic growth is also higher than any other advanced nation.
Not only does the country have a high standard of living, but they also have a high gross domestic product and per capita income. Life expectancy is also high at 83.2 years, which isn’t surprising given their public hospital system, which provides free or low-cost treatments for all citizens. If anything, there’s little to no cost-sharing at all.
Despite having the largest military and the second largest economy in the world, China is classified as a developing country. Another factor that indicates they’re still developing is the fact that they have one of the lowest GDPs per capita on this list ($12,550). They also depend heavily on the agriculture sector, though that has been trending downward over the past few years.
Not only that but they are also one of the biggest exporters and have one of the largest economies in the world. Still, their income per capita dips below the global average. However, the government has set a plan to turn the country nto a fully prosperous and developed nation by 2049.
As of 2023, the average life expectancy in China is 78 years old and its infant mortality rate is five per 1,000 live births. While these rates aren’t high per se, they are noticeably worse compared to other countries with a similar amount of wealth.
Canada is a highly developed country with one of the largest economies worldwide. For one thing, its economic base is incredibly diverse; it has a wealth of natural resources including gas, oil, and coal, which allows it to support its own energy needs. It also exports these resources to other nations including the United States.
They also have large mining, manufacturing, and real estate industries, and are home to some of the world’s largest tech hubs. The tech sector is also constantly growing thanks to a large and diverse talent pool.
That’s not all, they also spend more money on education compared to other countries. Healthcare is also free as it’s considered to be a fundamental right.
Belgium is a developed country with a modern, highly advanced economy. It also has very high standards in terms of education, healthcare, and quality of life. The country was also one of the first in Europe to undergo the Industrial Revolution.
While GDP growth has slowed in recent years, its economy, based on the service and industrial sectors, is incredibly well-developed. They are also a world leader in the chemical and plastics, metalworking, pharmaceutical, and food industries.
On top of that, they’re one of the biggest processors of radium, zinc, cobalt, lead, and copper.
Norway is one of the most prosperous countries in the world and is often considered to be the most developed. Not only do they have a well-educated labor force, but they’re also rich in natural resources such as gas, oil, and minerals. That’s not all, they also have a surplus in forests and hydroelectric power.
Its rich economy is also why it has such a high living standard. For one thing, they have a free and accessible healthcare system. Access to higher education also leads to higher employment and lower unemployment rates.