UN agency rankings of humanity's progress

In its annual report on human development, the United Nations Development Program ranks 187 countries based on measures such as the health and longevity of their people, education and income, and personal security. Since 1990, those measures have been compiled into the agency's index of human development that is watched by governments around the world. Here are some of highlights from its latest global rankings:

— THE BEST

Top ranked is Norway, followed by Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States.

— THE WORST

The five lowest ranked countries are Sierra Leone, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo and at No. 187, Niger.

— UNRANKED

Countries for which small size or a lack of data prevents adequate analysis include North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan and Monaco.

— MOST EQUAL

Slovenia ranks first in gender equality, a figure taking into account factors such as maternal death rates and teen pregnancies, followed by Switzerland, Germany and Sweden. The U.S. is ranked 47th, Japan 25th.

— SUICIDE RATE

Kazakhstan leads at 43 per 100,000, followed by Hungary, Latvia, South Korea and Guyana.

— HIGHEST RATE OF IMPRISONMENT

The United States is the most prolific jailer, at 716 people per 100,000. The next highest are St. Kitts and Nevis and the Seychelles, Cuba and Rwanda.

— OVERALL LIFE SATISFACTION

At the top: Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and the Netherlands. At the bottom: Togo, followed by Syria, Benin, Rwanda and Madagascar.