The Nordic countries jostle around for top place, while New Zealand is as boring as ever:
New Zealand (5) and Australia (21) continue to perform well in the rankings. Both countries have fully closed the gap on the educational attainment subindex and both perform well on economic participation indicators. Between 2007 and 2008, both countries show gains on economic participation, educational attainment and political empowerment.
The US country highlights read:
The United States (27) gains 4 places in the rankings this year, driven by across the board improvements in the four subindexes. Given the very tight differentials between country scores on educational attainment, small improvements in this subindex lead to a marked increase in the ranking on this subindex (from 76th position in 2007 to 1st position in 2008). These gains are accompanied by improvements in both the economic participation and opportunity subindex and in the political empowerment subindex, driven by gains in perceived wage equality for similar work, percentage of women in parliamentary level positions and percentage of women in ministerial level positions. The United States now holds 56th position in the political empowerment subindex up from 69th position in 2007.