UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan was placed at 145 while India ranked 134 among 189 countries on UNs 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) that measures achievements in health, education and income indicators, as an alternative to purely macro-economic assessments of national progress. The HDI forms part of the Human Development Report 2011, a flagship study produced annually by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It was released at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday. The report, entitled: 'Sustainability and Equity: A Better for All marks its 21th anniversary. The first UNDP Human Development Report was prepared and launched in 1990 under the leadership of the late Dr. Mahbubul Haq, a former Pakistan Finance Minister. This year rankings on HDI cover the period 2005-2011 using consistent data and technology. In other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka ranked 97; Bangladesh: 146; Maldives: 109; Nepal; 157, and Bhutan 141. UNDP officials said that this year's HDI rankings cannot be compared with those of 2010 when it covered only 169 countries as against 189 in 2011. In 2010, Pakistan was placed at 125; India: 119; Sri Lanka: 99; Bangladesh 145, and Maldives: 107. Bhutan was not covered. Oil-rich Norway as the country with the best quality of life is ranked number 1 on the 2011 HDI, as it did last year. Australia and Netherlands followed at the top of the standings. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Burundi are at the bottom of the annual ranking. The United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany and Sweden round out the top 10 countries in the 2011 HDI, but when the Index is adjusted for internal inequalities in health, education and income, some of the wealthiest nations drop out of the HDIs top 20: the US falls from 4 to 23, South Korea from 15 to 32 and Israel from 17 to 25. 'The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index helps us assess better the levels of development for all segments of society, rather than for just the mythical 'average person, said Milorad Kovacevic, chief statistician for the Human Development Report. 'We consider health and education distribution to be just as important in this equation as income and the data show great inequities in many countries. The 2011 ReportSustainability and Equity: A Better Future for Allnotes that income distribution has worsened in most of the world, with Latin America remaining the most unequal region in income terms, even though several countries including Brazil and Chile are narrowing internal income gaps. Yet in overall IHDI terms, including life expectancy and schooling, Latin America is more equitable than sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia, the report shows. To assess income distribution, as well as varying levels of life expectancy and schooling within national populations, the IHDI uses methodology developed by the renowned British economist Sir Anthony Barnes Atkinson. 'We use the Atkinson approach to measure inequalities in health, education and income, because it is more sensitive to changes at the lower end of the scale than the more familiar Gini coefficient, Kovacevic said. Average HDI levels have risen greatly since 197041 per cent globally and 61 per cent in todays low-HDI countriesreflecting major overall gains in health, education and income. The 2011 HDI charts progress over five years to show recent national trends: 72 nations moved up in rank from 2006 to 2011, led by Cuba (+10 to 51), Venezuela and Tanzania (7 each to 73 and 152, respectively), while another 72 fell in rank, including Kuwait (-8 to 63) and Finland (-7 to 22). The 10 countries that place last in the 2011 HDI are all in Sub-Saharan Africa: Guinea, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Chad, Mozambique, Burundi, Niger, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite recent progress, these low-HDI nations still suffer from inadequate incomes, limited schooling opportunities, and life expectancies far below world averages due in great part to deaths from preventable and treatable diseases such as malaria and AIDS, the report said. In many, these problems are compounded by the destructive legacy of armed conflict. In the lowest-ranking country in the 2011 HDI, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than three million people died from warfare and conflict-linked illness in recent years, prompting the largest peacekeeping operation in UN history.