South Korea is among countries that have shown the fastest improvement in human development over the past 12 years but deepening inequality is impeding its progress, according to a U.N. report.
Korea ranked 12th for three consecutive years in 2012 in the annual human development index released Thursday by the U.N. Development Program.
Norway once again topped the overall list, followed by Australia, the U.S., Netherlands and Germany in the assessment of 187 countries in terms of health, education and income.
Jumping from 24th in 2000, Korea achieved the greatest 12-year improvement along with Hong Kong, Singapore, Latvia and Lithuania.
But in an inequality-adjusted index, the nation ranked 28th.
“Inequality reduces the pace of human development and in some cases may even prevent it entirely,” the report said.
“The aim should be to create virtuous cycles in which growth and social policies reinforce each other.”
By Shin Hyon-hee (email@example.com