3 Nov 2011

NZ ranked in top five best places to live

8:08 pm on 3 November 2011

A new study from the United Nations lists New Zealand in the top five places to live.

The UN 2011 Human Development Index has scored 187 countries in health, education and income.

New Zealand is fifth. Norway is in first place, Australia second, Netherlands third, and the United States fourth.

New Zealand has an average life expectancy of 80.7 years with people spending on average 12.5 years at school, similar to Norway's 12.6 years and Australia's 12.

However, New Zealand's gross national income per capita is under $US24,000 - significantly less than Norway's $US47,000 and Australia's $US34,000.

Auckland University's senior economics lecturer, Debasis Bandyopadhyay, says although New Zealand appears to be doing it isn't clearcut.

"We have a problem called brain drain. Although we are very good in providing education and generating a large number of eduated people, because we cannot keep them, in the end the HDI index could be misleading."

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Burundi are at the bottom of the list.