Worshiper kisses the Kotel in Jerusalem (file)
Worshiper kisses the Kotel in Jerusalem (file)Mendy Hechtman/Flash 90

Israel has secured the 18th ranking on this year’s United Nations Human Development Index (HDI).

Published annually, the HDI ranks 188 countries in terms of economic strength, education, health, average life expectancy, and gross national product per-capita, as some of the parameters related to quality of life.

This year, Israel came out ahead of Japan (20), France (22), Spain (26), and Italy (27).

For the 12th year in a row, Norway has earned the top spot on the HDI list, and this year was followed by Australia (2) and Switzerland (3).

Israel has gone up one place since last year, having come in 19th in 2014.

The country ranked last on the index was Niger. The bottom of the list included other African countries like Eritrea (186), Chad (185), and Burundi (184).

Most Middle East nations were not given high rankings – Egypt (108), Jordan (80), and Lebanon (67).

The Palestinian Authority, considered a country by the UN, was ranked at 113

Top 20 countries according to 2015 Human Development Index:

1.  Norway
2.  Australia
3.  Switzerland  
4.  Denmark
5.  Netherlands
6.  Germany
6.  Ireland
8.  United States
9.  Canada
9.  New Zealand
11. Singapore
12. Hong Kong
13.  Liechtenstein
14.  Sweden
14. United Kingdom
16. Iceland
17.  Korea, South
18.  Israel
19.  Luxembourg
20.  Japan

To read the full 2015 Human Development report click here