UNITED NATIONS — People around the globe are healthier, richer and better educated than ever before, with most developing countries registering huge gains over the last 40 years, a UN report released Thursday shows.
Asia was the region that progressed fastest in terms of human development since 1970, with China and Indonesia leading the way. Some Arab countries, especially Oman, and many Latin American nations showed marked progress as well, it said.
In its annual report on the quality of life worldwide, the United Nations Development Program said such strides often go unnoticed because development traditionally has been measured only by income. Its study looked at education and health as well.
"Growth alone doesn't always lead to human development," said Jeni Klugman, the report's lead author.
Among the 169 nations whose development was surveyed, Norway came in first on the annual Human Development Index and Zimbabwe was listed last. The United States was fourth.