The UNDP has recently released its 2006 Human Development Index. For people throughout the developing world, HDI release day is always exciting. My family and I are from Mali, and there’s nothing better than scanning down to the bottom of the list and finding that we beat out Mauritania on the HDI. Some highlights of this year’s Index:
Norway finished first at .965. Congratulations, Norway! Although the thin Scandinavian air is known to inflate child-welfare statistics, we're not taking anything away from you.
The US came in 8th at .948, tying it with Nick Johnson, macrocephalic first baseman of the Washington Nationals. Johnson, however, isn’t much of a defensive player, and he missed 15 games due to injury.
The big surprise of the Top 10 was Ireland, which climbed to No. 4, thanks to an off-season spent in the weight room. Ireland is a front-runner for the Most Improved Nation of the Year Award.
Bosnia and Herzegovina snuck into the High Development category by finishing at .800, earning a bonus of 750,000 Euros. Herzegovina doesn’t expect to see a dime.
Mali, unfortunately, came in 175th, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Niger, and Neifi Perez. Oh well.
Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia were not ranked.