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Best and worst countries to live in

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 16-02-2016 Thomas C. Frohlich, Michael B. Sauter, Evan Comen and Sam Stebbins

25. Slovenia: <p><strong>> Population:</strong> 2.1 million<br><strong>> GNI per capita:</strong> $27,852<br><strong>> Life expectancy at birth:</strong> 80.4 years<br><strong>> Pct. of pop. with at least some high school:</strong> 96.9%</p><p>A small Central European country, Slovenia gained independence in 1991 and today has the highest HDI score of any former Yugoslav nation. Slovenia’s education system is one of its major strengths. A typical Slovenian child is likely to spend nearly 17 years getting an education, one of the highest expected years of schooling in the world. A number of these years are spent in college, as an estimated 86% of college-age Slovenians pursue higher education after graduating from a secondary institution -- the seventh highest tertiary enrollment ratio of any country. The country’s education system seems to be paying off. Slovenia’s 99.7% adult literacy rate is significantly higher than the global literacy rate of 81.2%.</p><p>Unlike many other European nations, especially the countries on the higher end of this list, Slovenia is not especially wealthy. With a GDP per capita of $27,576, Slovenia is the least wealthy of the 25 most livable countries.</p> Best and worst countries to live in Click through the slideshow above to see the world's best and worst countries to live in.

The development of a nation is often conflated with economic growth. However, while economic strength is certainly a country’s means of development, is it what ultimately determines how developed that country is? According to the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), other factors such as human freedom should be the key in quantifying and evaluating development.

Based on the 2015 HDI, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most and least livable countries. Data from the Index is based on three dimensions of human progress: longevity, education, and financial stability. As was the case last year, Norway is the most livable country in the world, while Niger is the least livable.

A decent income can have a tremendous impact on standard of living. Healthy food, access to exercise facilities, insurance, and the education necessary to increase one’s position in life all have monetary costs. The U.N. used gross national income in its calculation of the HDI to reflect the standard of living in a country. In the most developed countries, gross income per capita is generally quite high. All of the world’s 10 most livable countries have among the top 30 gross national incomes per person. The top rated country, Norway, has the world’s sixth highest gross national income per capita of $63,909.

At the other end of the spectrum, the world’s least developed countries typically have very low incomes. Six of these 10 least livable nations are among the bottom 10 countries by gross national income per capita. The Central African Republic, which has the lowest gross national income per capita in the world at just $581, is the second least developed country worldwide. Niger, the least developed nation in the HDI, has gross income per capita of $908.

In the countries at the top of the HDI, large shares of the labor force are employed in relatively high-paying service sector jobs. In countries at the other end of the HDI, the vast majority of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, the agriculture sector employees the bulk, if not the majority, of the labor force. According to the World Bank, agriculture employs 65% of Africa’s labor force, and accounts for nearly one-third of economic output from the continent.

While low-paying agricultural jobs largely explain the relatively low incomes in countries at the bottom of the HDI, the agriculture sector is still essential to the development of these nations. Ethiopia’s economy, for example, grew rapidly last year, and the country is one of the most dependent on the agriculture sector.

Individuals born in the U.S. are still expected to live as many as two decades longer than babies born in many of the Sub-Saharan African nations at the other end of the HDI.

SEE SLIDESHOW: Cheapest Countries to Live in 2016

Thrifty living: Want to know where you can get cheap groceries, eat out for less and rent a house for next to nothing? With data from research website Numbeo we reveal the most the affordable countries in the world. The cheapest countries to live in 2016

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