Hong Kong has dropped from 22nd to 25th place on a United Nations quality of life index. The fall on the Human Development Index mirrors the economic downturn. For the fifth consecutive year Canada topped the index, which ranks countries according to their progress in improving life expectancy, education and income. Next came France, Norway, the United States and Iceland. China was ranked 106th. The standard of living in Hong Kong, even though it has been classed as a 'developing country' because of its change of sovereignty, was still better than Singapore (28th), South Korea (30th), Portugal (33rd) and Thailand (59th). Hong Kong's slide was blamed on the growing gap between rich and poor as well as restrictions on political freedom since the handover. Society for Community Organisation director Ho Hei-wah said Hong Kong had done little to help its retired people, while the plight of the poor was worsening. He said rising unemployment and a 'more paternal' style of government had contributed to the fall.