Intended for healthcare professionals


Life expectancy differs by 30 years between richest and poorest countries, report shows

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 07 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4119
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Poor nations still have a long way to go to meet rich nations’ levels of health, education, and personal income, new figures from the United Nations show.

    The annual UN Human Development Index tracks people’s wellbeing in 182 countries and territories around the world. It shows that despite many advances in developing nations over the past few decades, disparities between rich and poor nations continue to be unacceptably wide.

    “Our world is very unequal,” concludes the UN Development Programme in its 2009 Human Development Report, of which the index forms a part.

    Jeni Klugman, the report’s lead author, says that despite improvements “progress has been uneven.” The index, the latest version …

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