The magazine International Living produces an annual Quality of Life Index for 194 countries throughout the world, ranking and rating each to “come up with our list of the places that offer you the best quality of life.” As they indicate, “this isn’t about best value, necessarily. It’s about the placers in the world where the living is, simply put, great.”
Here’s how they describe the construction of their index:
“To produce this annual Index we consider nine categories: Cost of Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health, Infrastructure, Safety and Risk, and Climate. This involves a lot of number crunching from ‘official’ sources, including government websites, the World Health Organization, and The Economist, to name but a few. We also take into account what our editors from all over the world have to say about our findings.”
For the fifth year in a row, IL has selected France as their number one “Best Place to Live,” followed by Australia, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Luxembourg, and, in seventh place, the United States.
At the opposite end of the scale, Somalia ranks last in quality of life, edging out Yemen, Sudan, Chad, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Guinea in the race to the bottom.
For the top 10 countries, each with a brief discussion of the rationale for its selection, see the 2010 Quality of Life Index. For a complete listing of all 194 countries’ scores in detail, check here. For a more complete discussion of how they go about constructing their ratings, look here.