Monday, 11 January 2010

Quality of Life Index - food for thought

I read with some interest the recent Quality of Life Index ratings, published by International Living magazine. I have been lucky enough to have lived in or visited seven of the top twenty five countries, whilst have lived in, travelled or plan to travel to several more lower down on the list. Great Britain is ranked a lowly 25th (a fall from 20th in 2009), whilst Korea comes in at 42nd. Britain outscores Japan (35th) but lags behind Andorra, Lithuania, Uruguay, Hungary and Luxembourg. Predictably Canada (9th), USA (7th), New Zealand (5th), Australia (2nd) and France (1st) are higher placed.

In the UK there have been some predictably over the top reactions with many right-wing newspapers up in arms over Britains rating. Living away from home this does give me food for thought. I am undecided on wether or not the way the list is worked is fair out so I don't know if I agree with the ratings but an explanation can be found here. I know that the UK is NOT the best place to live in but know from experience that is isn't the worst either. Some of the criteria for the rankings include cost of living, climate and economy. Unsurprisingly these are the lowest scores for Britain.

Living here in South Korea as an ESL teacher there are several limitations but life certainly isn't bad. Luckily my job brings a certain freedom about how my days go. I am under no stress and lucky enough to make decent money. North Korea rates as a better place to live than Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I wonder how do you, wherever you are, feel about the quality of your life?

Top 25 countries

25. Great Britain
24. Czech Republic
23. Andorra
22. Lithuania
21. Portugal
20. Hungary
19. Uruguay
18. Finland
17. Spain
16. Denmark
15. Malta
14. Liechtenstein
13. Austria
12. Norway
11. Netherlands
10. Italy
9. Canada
8. Belgium
7. USA
6. Luxembourg
5. New Zealand
4. Germany
3. Switzerland
2. Australia
1. France

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