Japan Falls to 24th in U.N. Rankings on Human Development

Yomiuri Shimbun file photos
The Japanese flag

New York (Jiji Press)—Japan was ranked 24th out of the 193 surveyed countries and regions around the world in terms of human development, the U.N. Development Program said Wednesday.

According to the U.N. body’s Human Development Report 2023-2024 on the human development index, which shows how “rich” a country or region is based on viewpoints such as life expectancy, education and income, Japan gave up two places from the previous survey.

The report said that the index globally declined in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2023, the HDI figures are believed to have exceeded the levels of 2019, which was before the pandemic, in all 38 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. On the other hand, the index readings for 18 developing nations were still below the prepandemic levels.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said that after 20 years of progress, the HDI gap is “growing between countries at the bottom and countries at the top of the index.”

Switzerland topped the global HDI rankings, followed by Norway, Iceland and Hong Kong. South Korea was 19th, the United States 20th, and China 75th.

The report raised the alarm about the deterioration in human development situations in Afghanistan and Ukraine.