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Poland and Romania ‘rising stars’ in development index

Eastern European countries Poland and Romania were some of the world's "rising stars" over the past decade, according to a new ranking which measures economic and social progress of countries, while some euro zone crisis countries slipped down the list.

The study by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) – which has tracked countries' progress between 2000 and 2012 – looks at a range of factors needed for development such as health and education, communications technology, political, legal and regulatory frameworks and environmental sustainability.

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A market in the center of Warsaw, Poland.Franck Fife | AFP/Getty Images

The ranking of 30 countries is topped by Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore, but some eastern European countries showed particularly strong rises and were dubbed "rising stars" by PwC.

Poland climbed six places in 2012's study, compared with its ranking in 2000, with Romania jumping 13 places since 2000.

In the last few years Poland has become the fastest growing economy in the EU and in 2009 it was the only EU country to avoid a recession.

While its gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.5 percent annually from 2004-2008, this slowed to 1.8 percent between 2009 and 2013.

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Poland has strong institutions and its living standards are gradually converging towards the European standard, but it still suffers from income disparities and rising unemployment, according to the World Bank.

Following the global financial crisis, Romania – which also joined the EU in 2007 — undertook a series of much-needed reforms.


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