Canada slips out of UN's Top 10 list of most-developed countries
Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, March 14, 2013 11:32AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2013 11:27PM EDT
OTTAWA -- Canada has slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation's human development index -- a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade.
The 2013 report, which reviews a country's performance in health, education and income, places Canada in 11th place versus 10th last year.
A closer look at the trends shows Canada actually did better than last year, but other countries such as Japan and Australia improved at a greater rate.
When the numbers are adjusted for gender inequality, Canada slumps to 18th place. The United States fares even worse -- sinking from third to 42nd place.
But the main finding of the report, entitled "The Rise of the South," is a positive one on a global scale. It says that countries that had previously struggled with poverty and inequality are now on a steady developmental climb.
It says Brazil, China and India's combined gross domestic product is now about equal to the combined GDP of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"When dozens of countries and billions of people move up the development ladder, as they are doing today, it has a direct impact on wealth creation and broader human progress in all countries and regions of the world," says the report.
Even the countries at the bottom of the development list, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are among those who showed the greatest improvement.
The UN Development Program credits three factors for the developmental gains. It says southern nations are being proactive and pragmatic in developing policies for their private and public sectors. The countries are also tapping into global markets, and investing in social programs.
The report goes on to suggest that multilateral, international organizations should be reformed to include better representation from the southern hemisphere.
"If they are to survive, international institutions need to be more representative, transparent and accountable," said the report.
"Indeed, some intergovernmental processes would be invigorated by greater participation from the South, which can bring substantial financial, technological and human resources."