Median perceived Actual
life expectancy at birth 5th 24th
research and development
expenditures as a percentage of GDP 10th ?
economic equality as
measured by the ratio of the richest
10% to poorest 10% in income or consumption 15th 30th
Gender equality as measured by the ratio of
female to male earned income 15th ?
Mathematics literacy scores 15th 25th
I was unable to find the original UN report ranking 32 nations, and the Center for Public Leadership didn't report the actual rankings for R&D and gender equality, but I think the median public rankings are pretty close to the true ranking on those items (see the Human Development Report for rankings of all countries).
That raises the question of who perceives the United States as ranking higher or lower. I looked at the effects of self-rated ideology and education. Conservatives see the United States as ranking better on every item. I thought that math literacy might be an exception, since conservative leaders often are critical of American education, but the association was about equally strong for all.
The effects of education were more varied: more educated people thought we ranked worse on math scores and better on life expectancy, gender equality, and R&D expenditures. There was no association with perceived rank on inequality.