Norway is the best country for living in the world, while Croatia ranks 47th among 188 countries, the UN Development Programme said in a report earlier this week.

Norway is followed by Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, the United States, Canada and New Zealand, according to the UNDP's Human Development Report for this year.

Among the 20 best countries for living, 11 are situated in Europe. Eritrea, the Central African Republic and Niger are at the bottom of the ranking.

The highest ranking country in Croatia's neighbourhood is Slovenia in 25th place, Montenegro is 49th, Serbia 66th, Macedonia 81st, and Bosnia and Herzegovina 85th.

Just like last year, Croatia remained in 47th position, among the countries of "very high human development", as measured by life expectancy, a living standard, income per capita, literacy and other factors.

In Croatia, life expectancy is 77.3 years, expected years of schooling are 14.8 years and GDP per capita is US$ 19,409, the report shows.

UNDP estimates that thanks to better education and health services, two billion people live better than 25 years ago. However, 830 million still subsist on less than two dollars a day, while more than 200 million, including 74 million young people, are unemployed and 21 million are in forced labour.

Women on average earn 24 per cent less than men and hold only 25 per cent of administrative and managerial positions in the business world. Sixty-one per cent of employed people work without a contract and only 27 per cent of the world's population is covered by a comprehensive social protection system.

In Croatia, high unemployment and work insecurity continue to be a problem, the UNDP warns, adding that with a registered unemployment rate of 17.2 per cent Croatia is among the EU countries with the highest unemployment rate.

Figures show that as many as 55 per cent of all unemployed people in Croatia are aged 20-45 and about 47 per cent have been out of work for a year or longer. Certain groups, including young people, elderly, women, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities, and even entire regions, affected by deindustrialisation, are disadvantaged in access to work, the report says, calling for new models of sustainable and inclusive development in Croatia.

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