Best places to be born

03/09/2014

Where is it best to be born?

A QUARTER of a century ago, The World in 1988 light-heartedly ranked 50 countries according to where would be the best place to be born. Then, America came top (see chart on left). Now the Economist Intelligence Unit has more earnestly calculated where would be best to be born in 2013. Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys—how happy people say they are—to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts—things like crime and trust in public institutions matter too. In all, the index takes 11 indicators into account. Some are fixed, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, social and cultural characteristics). . .

New Zealand is 7th.

Being rich isn’t all that counts but it helps more than most.

This is why National puts such strong emphasis on the economy – not as an end in itself but as the means to better economic, social and environmental outcomes for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

 


NZ best place to break glass ceiling

08/03/2013

The Economist complied a chart for International Women’s Day and found that women in New Zealand have the best chance of equal treatment at work.

. . . Based on data mainly from the OECD, it compares five indicators across 26 countries: the number of men and women respectively with tertiary education; female labour-force participation; the male-female wage gap; the proportion of women in senior jobs; and net child-care costs relative to the average wage. The first four are given equal weighting, the fifth a lower one, since not all working women have children. New Zealand scores high on all the indicators. Finland does best on education; Sweden has the highest female labour-force participation rate, at 78%; and Spain has the smallest wage gap, at 6%. The places not to be are South Korea and Japan, partly because so few women hold down senior jobs (though the new president of South Korea is a woman).

glass ceiling 1

Life lottery – where to be born next year

03/12/2012

The Economist has worked out where the best place to be born in 2013 will be:

Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys—how happy people say they are—to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too. In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy.

A forward-looking element comes into play, too. Although many of the drivers of the quality of life are slow-changing, for this ranking some variables, such as income per head, need to be forecast. We use the EIU’s economic forecasts to 2030, which is roughly when children born in 2013 will reach adulthood. . .

The conclusion after taking into account all that is that the best place in the world to be born next year will be Switzerland, followed by Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark,  Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada and Hong Kong.

. . . Small economies dominate the top ten. Half of these are European, but only one, the Netherlands, is from the euro zone. The Nordic countries shine, whereas the crisis-ridden south of Europe (Greece, Portugal and Spain) lags behind despite the advantage of a favourable climate. The largest European economies (Germany, France and Britain) do not do particularly well.
 
America, where babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation, languishes back in 16th place. Despite their economic dynamism, none of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) scores impressively. Among the 80 countries covered, Nigeria comes last: it is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013. . .


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