Switzerland tops the UN’s latest Human Development Index 2021 with a score of 0.962 out of 1.000, a measure that includes life expectancy, education and income. The index, designed to surpass GDP as a measure of well-being, was launched in 1990.

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The latest report for 2021, published on 8 September 2022, reveals how inequality and uncertainty are mutually reinforcing, leading to increasing polarization around the world. It also shows that decades of progress in life expectancy, education and economic prosperity have begun to unravel since the Covid-19 pandemic. About 90% of countries have retreated in the last two years.

This year, Switzerland tops the list with an average life expectancy of 84 years, an average length of education of 16.5 years and an average salary of $66,000. South Sudan was at the other end of the spectrum, with life expectancy at birth of 55, her 5.5 years of schooling, and an average annual income of just US$768.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced life expectancy worldwide. The latest figures show that life expectancy has returned to his 2016 level, reversing a 30-year upward trend. For example, in the United States, where an estimated 1.2 million people died of her Covid-19 (excess mortality), life expectancy at birth decreased by 1.9 years from 2019, 1.7 years in 2020, and 1.7 years in 2021. 0.2 years later. In Switzerland, life expectancy has increased by 0.2 years compared to 2019, after falling by 0.7 years in 2020.

Between 1990, when the index was first published, and 2019, the overall global index rose from 0.601 to 0.739 (+23%), with an annual increase. It dropped to 0.732 (-1%) between 2019 and 2021.

Between 1990 and 2021, Switzerland’s HDI value rose from 0.851 to 0.962, an increase of 13%. Life expectancy at birth increased by 6.6 years, his average years of schooling jumped by 3.3 years, and GNI per capita rose by 13.2%. Switzerland’s HDI has retreated in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic. However, it will rise by 0.006 in 2021, recovering by the same amount it fell in 2020.

Switzerland also performed well in the complementary HDI index. On the Gender Development Index, his score for 2021 was 0.967. A Swiss man is more educated than a woman (14.2 vs. 13.5) and earns more (US$79,451 vs. US$54,597), while he lives 3.9 years shorter than a woman. In the 2021 HDI inequality, Switzerland scored her 0.894. Inequality in life expectancy was 3.1%, education inequality was 2%, and income inequality was 15.6%. These same measures in the US were 5.9% (life expectancy), 2.7% (education), and 23.2% (income). The US scored her 0.819 overall on the HDI inequality.

The report highlights how most top scorers have rebounded in 2021, while most scorers near the bottom continue to decline. One of the report’s authors, Achim Steiner, said the outlook for 2022 is grim for many countries near the bottom. More than 80 countries are having trouble repaying their national debt. Steiner says there has been serious turmoil and the end of it will last for years.

One of the themes addressed in this year’s report is polarization. Political and social polarization is intensifying across and within the country, the authors say. Since 2012, well before the Covid-19 epidemic, he has seen a steady rise in anxiety and uncertainty, leading to feelings of distress almost everywhere. This is evidenced by the increasing number of publications containing negative views. German-language publications jumped the most. Trust levels have also plummeted. Globally, he is less than 30% of the people most people consider trustworthy, the lowest on record.

It is difficult to explain why such a negative view coexists with high HDI. One possibility outlined in the report is uncertainty perceptions and feelings. Rather than simply not having control in the first place, the perceived loss of control has its own negative consequences. , is also accompanied by rising nationalism and social discord. Polarization can take dangerous forms when different groups manipulate disparate sets of facts, and therefore realities, especially when those realities are tied to group identities. Powerful new media technologies magnify their impact even further.

UN Report (English)

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