Latvian women fare better than men, says UN report

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The United Nations' annual Human Development Report, released Thursday, reveals that Latvia is one of only 16 countries in which women enjoy better personal development prospects than men.

In Latvia (along with Argentina, Barbados, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay) women have a superior development rating based of the organisation's Human Development Index (HDI).

“For some of these countries, this may be attributed to higher female educational achievement; for others, to a significantly longer female life expectancy - over five years longer than that of males,” the report said.

Worldwide, female HDI values are eight percent lower than those for males.

Overall Latvia ranked 48 out of 187 countries surveyed, unchanged from last year's figure. That puts it below Baltic neighbors Estonia (33) and Lithuania (35) but still maintains its classification in the top-tier of human development nations with a “very high human development classification”.

Norway secured top spot with Niger in last place, though several countries including North Korea and Monaco were not included in the survey.

HDI was introduced in the first Human Development Report in 1990 as a composite measurement of development and an alternative to purely economic assessments of national progress. HDI values and rankings are calculated using internationally comparable data for health, education and income.

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