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Highest HDI Countries with Exceptions

Name the most developed countries that are NOT in Europe, according to the Human Development Index.
Source: 2021/2022 HDI report. Data from the year 2021.
Except for one country where the source is Wikipedia
HDI measures income, life expectancy, and education
Quiz by Matthew07
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Last updated: November 2, 2022
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First submittedMay 21, 2016
Times taken55,344
Average score76.2%
Rating4.64
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HDI
Country
0.951
Australia
0.939
Singapore
0.937
New Zealand
0.936
Canada
0.925
Japan
0.925
South Korea
0.921
United States
HDI
Country
0.919
Israel
0.916
Taiwan
0.911
United Arab Emirates
0.896
Cyprus
0.875
Bahrain
0.875
Saudi Arabia
0.855
Chile
HDI
Country
0.855
Qatar
0.842
Argentina
0.838
Turkey
0.831
Kuwait
0.829
Brunei
0.816
Oman
0.812
Bahamas
98 Comments
+36
Level 76
Aug 15, 2016
Might it be an idea explain what an "HDI" measures? "Human development" could mean a million things! (And, considering Bahrain's disgraceful human rights record, it clearly doesn't include human rights)
+6
Level 60
Aug 24, 2016
This could explain.
+33
Level 82
Nov 14, 2016
Education (mostly literacy), life expectancy, and wealth (I think income per capita). Pretty simple formula. Obviously not comprehensive. Probably not the best.
+1
Level 57
Aug 21, 2023
Definitely should add wealth inequality as a measure.
+4
Level 77
Feb 2, 2021
There is only one Human Development Index. The index is the assortment of this data from all the countries per the definition of "index".
+3
Level 45
Feb 2, 2021
and brunei's
+2
Level 72
Feb 2, 2021
It doesn't otherwise none of the Gulfa countries would have made that list. Turkey and Kazakhstan would have faced similar challenges as well.
+14
Level 82
Aug 15, 2016
Everything but Cyprus. It did not for a moment occur to me.
+1
Level 77
Aug 16, 2016
Likewise.
+13
Level 73
Aug 19, 2016
If Cyprus isn't in Europe, why not include Malta on this list as well.
+41
Level 47
Sep 30, 2016
Really? That's like saying that because Istanbul is partly in Europe then Ankara is as well because they are both in Turkey
+52
Level 60
Aug 24, 2016
Yay! Another comment triggering the 'Is Cyprus in Asia or in Europe?' argument.
+10
Level 68
May 25, 2019
and people fall for it every time
+10
Level 62
Feb 2, 2021
I am really curious what people from Cyprus think about where they are, Europe or Asia. Also what, if anything, the government stance is (like in schoolbooks it read that they are located in Asia).
+1
Level 64
Feb 2, 2021
Never trust what is in today's schoolbooks. It must be Europe.
+14
Level 60
Feb 3, 2021
Cyprus really needs to be classified as part of Africa. It would put a halt to all these pointless Europe/Asia kerfuffles.
+4
Level 50
Dec 21, 2022
Cyprus is obviously in Antarctica, though.
+9
Level 74
Aug 28, 2016
Look at a map of the eastern Mediterranean - pretty much all of Turkey is in Asia, Cyprus is closer to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon than to any European country.

Malta is closer to Sicily than any other place . . . and a lot farther west than Istanbul, never mind Cyprus.

+17
Level 82
Nov 14, 2016
I got Cyprus with 5 seconds left after guessing every other country with even a remote possibility of making it on the list. but, yeah, it really does "feel" like it's in Europe.
+10
Level 72
Nov 14, 2016
I'm going to blame missing Cyprus on playing quizzes on that other site that rhymes with Forkle.
+7
Level 89
Oct 4, 2018
I could never get forkle to work. I don't know why. Plus their quizzes seemed pretty limited even if it did let me play one.
+19
Level 75
Aug 29, 2019
The first rule of Jetpunk is, you don't talk about... Forkle
+2
Level 52
Aug 19, 2016
only missed one and I'm not even entirely sure what the HDI is!
+2
Level 60
Aug 24, 2016
+25
Level 69
Oct 12, 2016
It's a shame that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are on this list.
+7
Level 47
Oct 12, 2016
Can't disagree with that.
+14
Level 82
Nov 14, 2016
It would be preferable if the people in these countries were even worse off? I understand disliking the politics, religion, culture, etc of these countries but I can't see why any country having a high HDI would be a shame.
+46
Level 67
Nov 14, 2016
Perhaps the issue is not wishing that their conditions were any worse, but that HDI were calculated differently, in which case countries with fewer egregious human rights abuses could surpass Saudi Arabia and Qatar despite having less money than those two countries.
+35
Level 60
Nov 14, 2016
It would be preferable if the wealth of those countries weren't built on a tiny class owning vast extractable resources while consigning a large underclass to slavery, yes.
+5
Level 82
Nov 14, 2016
Both of those positions make sense. But considering that HDI also factors in life expectancy and education levels in addition to wealth I'd say it's only a shame that more countries aren't as high. Also, wealth tends to lead eventually to moderation.
+2
Level 75
Nov 17, 2018
Why wasn't Kuwait and UAE on this list? When they didn't make it, I didn't even try Oman, Qatar, etc. Obviously I don't understand what makes up HDI.
+1
Level 82
Nov 17, 2018
^ the high cost of some goods in these countries screws things up when you measure using PPP. But the UAE shows up, now. and I checked the source; Kuwait is in 21st place. Realistically it should probably be 13th.
+1
Level 82
May 8, 2021
Kuwait showing up below Palau, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Uruguay just makes this list seem like a complete joke. and that's only because of PPP and the strength of the Kuwaiti Dinar, one of the strongest currencies in the world.
+1
Level 21
Nov 14, 2016
dint see taiwan in wikipedia
+4
Level 71
Oct 8, 2018
It's under Non-UN members.
+1
Level 69
Nov 15, 2016
Damn you Cyprus! I always forget it's considered an Asian country.
+8
Level 68
Feb 2, 2021
To be fair, anywhere else in the world except Jetpunk, but very much including Cyprus, people agree that it's European. Quizmaster has just decided at some point that he's digging his heels in, and now it's waaaaay too late for him to cave, even if his position is untenable.
+7
Level 82
May 8, 2021
Some of your comments use to be pretty obnoxious but since coming out of JetPunk comments section retirement it feels like you are endeavoring to be a full-time troll. What you said here is just (easily) provably false, and a five second Google search would have revealed as much.
+2
Level 87
Nov 2, 2022
Actually, I was more upset when Jetpunk officially awarded Crimea to Russia. But I guess one has to pick one's battles.
+5
Level 72
Dec 21, 2022
To be clear this is a quiz website, not an encyclopaedia, not a political website and not a repository of international treaties. Nor is Jetpunk a nation state with standing internationally. It has no diplomatic service and hasn’t been assigned any responsibilities by the United Nations. QM (as far as I know) doesn’t sit on any international court with jurisdiction over such things. So, no, Jetpunk hasn’t officially awarded anyone anything. They’ve come to a decision on one or two disputed facts and probably have their reasons. I don’t agree that Cyprus is in Asia either, or that Crimea is in Russia but, generally speaking, JP’s accuracy is extraordinary, given that it’s a free site with user generated content. If you want to support Ukraine you can do what I (and plenty of people I know) have done and donate money. They need that more than they need hopelessly misplaced virtue signalling.
+1
Level 82
Nov 17, 2018
How on Earth did Kuwait get edged out by the bottom 8? That doesn't make any sense to me.
+3
Level 82
Nov 17, 2018
I bet it's another quirk of that PPP baloney. The relatively high cost of living there and the strong Kuwaiti dinar takes down their wealth per capita ranking when using PPP (vs cheaper countries like Saudi, Bahrain, Oman, and Uruguay), even though Kuwait is a tiny country and it makes no sense to do that.
+7
Level ∞
Nov 17, 2018
It looks like you are right that HDI uses PPP. However I agree with the UN that PPP is a better measure of prosperity than nominal GDP. Not only is it is more strongly correlated with life expectancy, but it also varies much less year to year.
+11
Level ∞
Nov 17, 2018
A much bigger issue is whether HDI methodology takes into account the vast group of uneducated, poorly paid, and exploited South Asian residents that form a large percentage of the population of the Gulf states. Based on the numbers, I'd say no.
+2
Level 82
Nov 17, 2018
I've been to Kuwait. I've lived in Bahrain. People in Kuwait are much better off. But Bahrain is a lot cheaper.
+1
Level 82
Nov 17, 2018
and at least part of that lower cost of living is due to the many poor immigrants living and working there.
+2
Level 82
Feb 2, 2021
And thinking that Kuwait is less prosperous than Turkey or Uruguay is just flat-out downright absurd. Visit these places sometime and you'll see just how ridiculous these rankings are and how badly PPP distorts reality.
+1
Level 43
Nov 17, 2018
only Israel, Uruguay and Bahamas left
+9
Level 67
Nov 17, 2018
Oh right: Saudi Arabia, bastion of human development. How could I have failed to have guessed that?
+1
Level 32
Nov 17, 2018
Ha! That's funny!
+8
Level 33
Nov 24, 2018
"Sweden" - miss, "Denmark" - miss... WTF?

(Read description)

Plop

+1
Level 33
Feb 2, 2021
exactly the same :(
+4
Level 67
Nov 30, 2018
CYPRUS IS IN EUROPE
+19
Level ∞
Dec 23, 2020
Wrong. It's in Africa.
+5
Level 81
Dec 29, 2020
A whale isn't a fish. It's an insect.
+6
Level 68
Feb 2, 2021
Cyprus, the country, is in Europe, but for some reason, Cyprus, the Jetpunk answer, is in Asia. I agree that it doesn't make any sense.
+4
Level 73
Feb 4, 2021
It is an island located off the coast of Asia. Its culture maybe predominantly European influenced but so is Israel, Australia, USA etc
+2
Level 89
Dec 21, 2022
Cyprus is a myth. JetPunk propaganda.
+2
Level 53
Dec 13, 2018
Cyprus is most definitely in Europe. Despite its location, it is regarded by the great majority of experts and its residents as being in Europe, and it's in the EU. This is like calling Indonesia part of Oceania.
+20
Level 47
Jan 15, 2019
“Despite its location”.. don’t you think that location is kinda important when determining what continent it’s in?
+3
Level 68
May 25, 2019
nope. If you look at trackrecords anyway, people have often disregarded the most obvious things. (what was it again, you cant eat animals besides the animal otter/beaver because it swims. I know weird example, but some will now what I mean).

Allmost all major things have exceptions, so why should this be any different, why would people suddenly start to follow their own rules, they never did before...

+1
Level 90
Nov 16, 2022
So, you agree Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand etc. are all in Europe then?
+1
Level 22
Dec 22, 2022
> it is regarded by the great majority of experts and its residents as being in Europe

> and it's in the EU

Did Australians ever claim to be a part of Europe? Do any experts consider USA a European country? Is Canada in the EU?

Ignoring some arguments and destroying others is easy. But that's not how discussions should go

+4
Level 74
Jan 5, 2021
Uhm.. at least a part of Indonesia is actually in Oceania :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceania

+1
Level 68
May 25, 2019
I tried paraguay, then I didnt bother to try uruguay... Argentina is doing well though, together wth uruguay being the only country in the americas besides isa and canada. (ow, and bahamas)
+7
Level 82
Dec 25, 2020
Actually, I'd say Argentina is doing pretty badly compared to where it was historically. Chile's now overtaken it, and Uruguay may well do so as well in the not too distant future. Once it stood far above any other Latin American country or even Spain.
+1
Level 66
May 10, 2020
Cyprus
+2
Level 77
Dec 23, 2020
Saudi Arabia being so high makes this formula a joke
+5
Level ∞
Dec 23, 2020
"Education" seems very easy to fudge. You can give everyone a college degree but it doesn't mean they really learned anything. Saudi Arabia supposedly needs to import large numbers of western experts to run vital infrastructure, so it would seem that the education system is lacking. My guess is that the UN simply measures number of years of education.
+1
Level 74
Dec 31, 2020
You can check the index called "inequality-adjusted HDI", it is better than HDI in this regard.
+1
Level 71
Feb 2, 2021
To what extent do differences in male and female education, participation in the workforce, etc. factor into HDI? I understand the women in Saudi Arabia still get educations far superior to women in many developing countries, but still far from equal to the education that men get. They also aren't very active in the economy I'm guessing, given their strict guardianship laws (one source I found has them as only 15% of the labor force). Do they just take the average of male and female education and workforce participation and ignore gender gaps?
+4
Level 87
Dec 23, 2020
Hey, the qualification says "NOT in Europe". Turkey is in Europe. Not all of it, of course, but it's there. Russia is also mostly in Asia, but it's not on the list. Surely it would outrank Kazakhstan?
+4
Level 74
Dec 24, 2020
Only part of Istanbul is in Europe, the rest of the country is in Asia, along with the majority of its population. The majority of Russia's population is in the very western part that is geographically European.
+3
Level 74
Dec 31, 2020
The European part of Turkey is called "Turkish Thrace" or "East Thrace", and includes several other provinces other than Istanbul.
+1
Level 62
Dec 24, 2020
Dunno why but the URL for this quiz says outside of Europe and North America confused me for a minute or two.
+2
Level ∞
Dec 24, 2020
That was the original title. Changed the URL.
+1
Level 75
Dec 24, 2020
The number you have for Argentina conflicts with the source and the other HDI quizzes on the site
+1
Level ∞
Dec 24, 2020
Fixed
+3
Level 65
Feb 2, 2021
Turkey and Kazakhstan have areas that belong to Europe. If they are included in the list there needs to be a hint.
+2
Level 60
Feb 2, 2021
Too European uncentred !
+8
Level 60
Feb 2, 2021
As a Cypriot taking this quiz from Cyprus and not being able to guess Cyprus in this quiz, although I do know the Quizmaster's policy of considering Cyprus an Asian territory and I remember it in other quizes, I believe it is time for Quizmaster to reconsider his decision. It is quizes like this, which consider the social, political and economic environment of a location rather its geographical environment, that make the non-inclusion of Cyprus in Europe seem problematic.

After all, Europe itself is mostly a politico-socio-economic concept rather a geographical one.

+2
Level 65
Feb 3, 2021
Yes, yes! Culture determines geography- not maps! While plate tectonics may offer clues to a country's continent or origin, we all know that it is the restaurant and entertainment choices of their populace that determines their continental belonging. Dress for the continent you want to be, I say. Cartographers be damned!
+1
Level 71
Feb 2, 2021
I got Palau but missed South Korea. smh
+1
Level 57
Feb 2, 2021
How about countries with the most developed women?
+1
Level 82
Feb 3, 2021
I made that quiz already.
+1
Level 55
Feb 10, 2021
Turkey should not be on here due to it being a transcontinental country with East Thrace being the Turkish region in Europe consisting of many provinces and cities including Istanbul in Europe. Even though most of the country is in Asia it is still a European country. Yes, Turkey's capital is on it's Asian side and most of it's population is in it's Asian side, but these reasons still do not mean that Turkey is not a European country. East Thrace is part of it's contiguous land mass and has many metro-politician cities and regions in Turkey. Turkey should be removed with Panama being added under Uruguay.
+1
Level 52
Apr 16, 2021
I PUT IS CYPRUS DAMMIT
+4
Level 40
Aug 6, 2021
you should add grey to turkey, since it is transcontinental
+1
Level 58
Mar 17, 2022
I got everything but South Korea lol.
+1
Level 56
Jun 24, 2022
Got Palau as a complete guess and I have no idea how it made it to this list. I don't know much about most oceanic countries though, does anyone know its situation?
+2
Level 58
Aug 9, 2022
For those confused by the presence of countries like Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Qatar on this list, the HDI formula only takes three things into account:

1- GDP per capita, so if a country has terrible income distribution, this result is misleading; 2 - for how many years their people study, without taking into account what is studied and the quality of the education; and 3 - for how many years its people should live, which does not take into account many problems like human rights violations.

Saudi Arabia, for instance, suffers from all these problems, but this is hidden from the formula.

In general, the HDI gives us a good insight into the quality of life in a country, because if you live long, study a lot and earn a lot of money, you are probably better off than most.

However, this doesn't mean that the information is perfect and that there are no problems with the methodology, the main problem being that the formula is purely quantitative, not qualitative.

+1
Level 70
Sep 10, 2022
I got Kazakhstan, and hence was surprised to not see Georgia/ Armenia/ Azerbaijan on the list.
+2
Level 72
Nov 2, 2022
ROFL. Georgia and Armenia have very little growth especially the latter. Azerbaijan could have been on that list but their leaders are not good at investing oil money for improvement.
+1
Level 50
Nov 3, 2022
Nearly half of the countries (9/21) are in the Middle East. Kinda interesting.
+1
Level 65
Nov 5, 2022
Missed 🇧🇸 Bahamas!!!
+3
Level 66
Dec 21, 2022
Cyprus should just be counted as European.
+2
Level 37
Dec 24, 2022
I'm not surprised to see the oilstates as high as they are, but was not expecting to see Turkey or even Argentina ahead of Uruguay, Panama or Costa Rica
+1
Level 57
May 14, 2024
Got Cyprus with 1 second to spare :)