Vietnam rises in UN life-quality ranking

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Vietnam has moved up three spots in an annual human development index compiled by the United Nations.

According to a global report released Thursday by the UN Development Program, Vietnam ranks 113 out of 135 nations in terms of development.

The country holds the eighth position in the list of top ten movers in terms of per capita GDP during the 1970-2010 period.

The report noted that in most developing countries, average improvements in education have extended access to children who would not otherwise have attended school, suggesting reduced inequality over the long term.

For instance, between 1995 and 2000, school participation in Vietnam increased by 4 percent for children in the bottom rungs of income distribution.

The UNDP ranks nations using the Human Development Index (HDI) that combines data on income, health and education.

It said East Asia and the Pacific had by far the strongest overall HDI performance of any region in the world, nearly doubling average HDI attainments over the past 40 years.

However, the report noted that 'multidimensional' poverty, gender gaps and rising inequality are posing big challenges to the region.

"Most countries in East Asia and the Pacific also have higher income inequality today than a few decades ago," it said.

"This is explained partly by growing gaps between urban and rural areas due to rapid industrial growth, though the slow growth of agriculture and increasing returns to higher levels of schooling have also contributed."

Norway is first in the HDI ranking, followed by Australia, New Zealand, the US and Ireland, said the Thursday report, also the 20th anniversary edition.

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