Dec 4, 2012

Posted by in Issue of the Day | 0 Comments

We’re nearly there, folks!

Those of us who live in Australia pretty much reckon we’ve got it made. Fortunately, for the most part, it’s not an arrogant view of the world – we just appreciate how privileged we are to have what this country offers.

Oh, there are downsides, for sure. Some pretty damn big ones. But . . .

It’s nice to know that our confidence is apparently not misplaced. A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) tells us we are the second-best place in the world to live.

Well, yes, those damn Swiss just beat us to the post as winners but second is not bad, eh? We can live with that.

The EIU produces an annual quality-of-life index that lets the world know just where it is best to be born. It measures eleven indices including wealth, health and trust in a country’s institutions.

There certainly seems to be something special about Scandinavia as Switzerland was joined by Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the top five. Oops! Looks like Australia gatecrashed their little party. But we do tend to be a bit cheeky like that. Never mind, though, since we are always good company at a party. Definitely know how to have a good time here in the great Land Down Under!

There are eighty countries in the rankings and Nigeria just made it into the list.

America came home at 16th. This is interesting because, back in 1988, it was number one out of fifty countries but has not been able to crack first prize since then.

Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong and The Netherlands make up the other top ten nations.

If there is a potential flaw in this concept it is that representatives of countries are asked how happy they feel so there is reasonable scope to skew the results through an excess of optimism. This does happen to be a notable Australian characteristic.

Must have been in play when we were asked because, frankly, on the index of faith in our institutions, our loss of trust in the federal parliament over the past few years could have brought us home last on the list.

At least we know what we need to improve if we really do want to be ranked first in the world. Everybody ready for a good clean-out?

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