Thursday, January 14, 2010

The 2010 Quality of Life Index: The 10 best countries to live

The 10 best countries to live (and the 10 worst) International Living magazine's 30th annual survey of the best countries to live: 1. France 2. Australia 3. Switzerland 4. Germany 5. New Zealand 6. Luxembourg 7. United States 8. Belgium 9. Canada 10. Italy And Britain? 25th place for best country to live The worst 1. Somalia 2. Yemen 3. Sudan 4.Chad 5. Afghanistan 6. Sierra Leone 7. Djibouti 8. Eritrea 9. Guinea 10. Angola (link via Times Online) What do you think about the survey results? If you live in France, do you agree that it's the best country for living in?


  1. Which of course begs the question..
    "Why do thousands and thousands of immigrants keep pouring in every month?"

  2. Hmm - that's a very good question. I think it's better suited for a different discussion though. I'd rather not discuss immigration in this thread.

  3. I'm very surprised that France and Italy are so much higher up the list than Britain. And to some extent, America too - since that is a great country to live in if you have money, but there's very little in the way of a social care system and safety net if you don't.

  4. I know what you mean but they based their results on nine criteria including the cost of living, leisure and culture, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and climate.

    Britain would score a lot lower for the cost of living and economy. And it's very interesting why they rate France so high:

    International Living says: "Its tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes are outweighed by an unsurpassable quality of life, including the world's best healthcare."

  5. I don't think you can put too much stock in ratings of countries. I'm sure they make a lot more sense when you read detailed explanations of each country's criteria, but really there are so many factors that make a country right for a person that someone else can't realistically rank for you. Not everyone has identical priorities.

  6. You're right but I still think these surveys are rather interesting - and can provoke some worthwhile discussions.

  7. Woo hoo! Number 2. I would agree with that, although personally I would have ranked the UK above the US.

  8. LOL - I'm not surprised you agree with Number 2 since you now live in Australia! You are very fortunate indeed - most people only dream about living there.

    I have to say that I am shocked that Britain is only in 25th place.

    And as far as comparing the UK and the US goes, I think I can understand why the US is ranked so far ahead of the UK. The survey was based on criteria including the cost of living, leisure and culture, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and climate. Britain must have scored very low in the ratings because of the cost of living, economy, freedom (Big Brother Britain)and climate.

    And it's hard to disagree with the observation about the United States:

    International Living says: "It is the land of convenience. No place else on Earth is it easier to get what you want, when you want it."

  9. I bet that America doesn't score so well on safety!

    Where are the Scandinavian countries? Where's Chile?
    I'm not really convinced by this list.

    Obviously, the elephant in the room with these stats is how the reader fits in - how well off and well-educated they are; as a foreigner in one of these places your experience of it will often not be the same as the locals; and that's the other missing aspect... every one of those countries has it's nice bits and hell holes.

    One or two on that list might have real social inequalities side by side; others, a more economically equal populace.

    Obviously the UK has got visibly worse in that respect... we all know where the bad bits and good bits are, and those of us who can, congregate around the good bits, balancing access to amenities with the benefits of remoteness ...often described as "white flight".
    It seems to me, Maureen, that you can't have a list like this without a connexion with immigration and emigration being made, as "International Living" is all about "advanced white flight", isn't it ;P

  10. This list - 2010 Quality of Life Index: 194 Countries Ranked and Rated to Reveal the Best Places to Live - is from International Living magazine. Their list is "of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn't about best value, necessarily. It's about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great."

    Surveys like this one have to be taken with a grain of salt.

    I agree that a foreigner living in one of these countries may not experience life in the same as the locals do. And you're also right about the connection to immigration and emigration, although it's not just about that issue. I think it's fine to discuss why someone chose to be an expat and it's okay to mention immigration but I don't want this thread to turn into a debate about immigrants. I don't agree that international living is all about ' "advanced white flight" '.

  11. In my opinion the rating is not well convincable. I lived in the gulf, Lebanon France, UK, Germany,Nigeria, Canada and USA.
    The best healthcare indeed France
    The best Economy Canada and Germany
    The best Climate: Lebanon, South of France and USA West Coast.
    The best Leisure & Culture: London and Beirut are number 1. Beirut nightlife and joie de vivre of the Lebanese are amazing.
    The best country in terms of taxes are the gulf you earn well and it is free of tax.
    Judgement based on number and statistic is not enough. Only when y live in the country when experiencing work culture infrastructure climmate safety environment economy then the judgement is more or less make sense. Rating France number 1 in my opinion it s a very poor rating result.

  12. Surveys like this are interesting and fun to discuss but I don't think the results are necessarily accurate.

    The list is different this year. International Living magazine's Quality of Life Index results for 2011 now have the USA listed in the number one spot!

  13. England has an ncredibly poor quality of life. Weather is poor, crime now spiralled out of control with much of eastern europe having moved there to get free healthcare etc, dangerous to live with constant stabbings, no one speaks english around you and very overcrowded.