Over the past eight years, Iceland has dropped from #1 to #16 on the Human Development Index, conducted by the United Nations.
By comparison, Norway came out on top, followed by Australia, Switzerland and Denmark. The United States was 8th, Canada was 9th, and the UK was 14th. Where other Nordic countries are concerned, Sweden was ahead of Iceland, in 14th place, but Finland was ranked 24th. The three lowest ranking countries were all in Africa: Niger, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea.
The human development ranking, assessed by the UN, is based on three criteria: GDP, life expectancy, and average education level. Iceland’s drop from 2007 levels can be attributed in part to the country’s GDP being considerably lower than it was before the 2008 bank crash, and possibly to standardised testing scores issued by the OECD.