The United Nations ranked Russia 65th in its annual flagship report on comprehensive human development, which was published on Thursday.
The Human Development Report, issued annually by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), assesses the state of human development on the basis of health, education and income indicators, as an alternative to purely macroeconomic assessments of national progress.
Norway is leading in the UN rating, followed by Australia and New Zealand. Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe occupy the last three positions in the list.
The UN has divided the 169 countries in its list into four groups according to a level of human development: "very high," "high," "medium" and "low." Russia, which is listed among countries with a "high" level of human development, has managed to improve its ranking by 3 positions if compared with the 2005 list.
The UN has estimated an average life span in Russia at 67.2 years in 2010, an average education term at 8.8 years, and the GDP at $15,258 per capita (at 2008 prices).
Russia is ranked 42nd in a list representing the level of social and economic inequality, which is also topped by Norway, and 41st in a world ranking on gender equality.
Among former Soviet countries, only Estonia is listed as a state with a "very high" human development level, ranked 34th.
Lithuania (44th), Latvia (48th), Belarus (61st), Kazakhstan (66th), Azerbaijan (67th), Ukraine (67th), Georgia (74th) and Armenia (76th) are among the countries with a "high" level of human development.
The UN report concludes that "people today are generally healthier, wealthier and better educated than they were in 1970."
"The majority of developing countries have made dramatic but underestimated gains in health and education in recent decades, although severe inequalities within and between countries remain," the UN said on its website.
Progress made by many countries is "not directly linked with national economic growth, showing that impressive long-term gains can and have been made even without consistent economic performance."
UNITED NATIONS, November 4 (RIA Novosti)