I know about a quarter of the population wants the U.S. to stay the same (afraid of the unknown?) but it ranks thirteenth (13) in the world as far as best places to live. That socialist country Norway is first. And it didn't fall to 13 in the lst 9 months if your wondering. Norway is best place to live, China moves up: UN - Yahoo! News PARIS (AFP) â€“ Norway takes the number one spot in the annual United Nations human development index released Monday but China has made the biggest strides in improving the well-being of its citizens. The index compiled by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) ranks 182 countries based on such criteria as life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Norway, Australia and Iceland took the first three spots while Niger ranks at the very bottom, just below Afghanistan.