Portugal behind Greece in Human Development Index, says UN

In a rather subjective headline, Lusa news agency highlights the United Nation’s latest Human Development index saying Portugal ranks behind Greece and “all the other European countries to have received bailouts” (Ireland, Spain and Italy).

But seen from a wider point of view, Portugal ranks 43rd among 187 countries and, as such, shows a “very high” level of human development, coming in at a healthy 0.830.

The index is calculated on how long and well people live, how good their access is to knowledge and education and whether lives can be considered ‘decent’. It is gauged on the basis of various statistics, boiled down to life expectancy, years spent in education and GDP.

And while the country’s politicians have stirred up merry hell over the last point for years, the truth is that life expectancy and school attendance these days is good.

In 2014, the average age people could hope to live to was 80.09 years, said the report, and the average number of years people stayed in education was 8.2 – although they ‘hoped’ for 16.3.

But despite the data, things have been better. In the 90s, Portugal’s index stood at 0.97, reports Lusa. It was only at the turn of the millennium that things nosedived, seeing us bottom out to rankings of 0.47 and even 0.33.

As always, countries like Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Holland, Germany and the US lead the index this year, with Ireland climbing to 6th position.

At the end of the scale are Burundi, Chad, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com