Where-to-be-born Index

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The Economist Intelligence Unit’s where-to-be-born index (previously called the quality-of-life index, abbreviated QLI) attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead. It is based on a method that links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys to the objective determinants of quality of life across countries along with a forward-looking element.

Methodology[edit]

The index calculated for 2013 includes data from 80 countries and territories. The survey used ten quality of life factors along with forecasts of future GDP per capita to determine a nation's score.[1]

The life satisfaction scores for 2006 (on scale of 1 to 10) for 130 countries (from the Gallup Poll) are related in a multivariate regression to various factors. As many as 11 indicators are statistically significant. Together these indicators explain some 85% of the inter-country variation in life satisfaction scores. The values of the life satisfaction scores that are predicted by the indicators represent a country's quality of life index. The coefficients in the estimated equation weight automatically the importance of the various factors. The estimated equation for 2006 can be utilized to calculate index values for year in the past and future, allowing for comparison over time as well across countries.[2]

The independent variables in the estimating equation for 2006 include:

  • Material well-being as measured by GDP per capita (in $, at 2006 constant PPPS)
  • Life expectancy at birth
  • The quality of family life based primarily on divorce rates
  • The state of political freedoms
  • Job security (measured by the unemployment rate)
  • Climate (measured by two variables: the average deviation of minimum and maximum monthly temperatures from 14 degrees Celsius; and the number of months in the year with less than 30mm rainfall)
  • Personal physical security ratings (based primarily on recorded homicide rates and ratings for risk from crime and terrorism)
  • Quality of community life (based on membership in social organisations)
  • Governance (measured by ratings for corruption)
  • Gender equality (measured by the share of seats in parliament held by women)

1988 rankings[edit]

The original Where-to-be-born Index was released in 1988. However, this index was a little less serious than the 2013 one, as it included a "philistine factor" for a lack of culture and a "yawn index" which measured how boring a country might be despite all its other advantages.[3][4]

Rank Country
1  United States
2  France
3  West Germany
4  Italy
5  Canada
6  Japan
7 British Hong Kong Hong Kong
8  United Kingdom
9  Netherlands
10  South Korea
11  Austria
12  Norway
13   Switzerland
14  Belgium
15  Ireland
16  Spain
17  Australia
18  Finland
19  New Zealand
20  Argentina
21  Soviet Union
22  Poland
23  Denmark
24  Hungary
25  Philippines
26  Greece
27  India
28  Mexico
29  Brazil
30  Israel
31  China
32  Portugal
33  United Arab Emirates
34  Venezuela
35  East Germany
36  Singapore
37  Malaysia
38  Yugoslavia
39 South Africa South Africa
40  Turkey
41  Indonesia
42  Pakistan
43  Egypt
44 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Libya
45  Saudi Arabia
46  Nigeria
47  Iran
48  Iraq
49  Zimbabwe

2013 rankings[edit]

Where to be born index 2013 World map
Rank Country Score
(out of 10)
1   Switzerland 8.22
2  Australia 8.12
3  Norway 8.09
4  Sweden 8.02
5  Denmark 8.01
6  Singapore 8.00
7  New Zealand 7.95
8  Netherlands 7.94
9  Canada 7.81
10  Hong Kong 7.80
11  Finland 7.76
12  Ireland 7.74
13  Austria 7.73
14  Taiwan 7.67
15  Belgium 7.51
16  Germany 7.38
16  United States 7.38
18  United Arab Emirates 7.33
19  South Korea 7.25
20  Israel 7.23
21  Italy 7.21
22  Kuwait 7.18
23  Chile 7.10
23  Cyprus 7.10
25  Japan 7.08
26  France 7.04
27  United Kingdom 7.01
28  Czech Republic 6.96
28  Spain 6.96
30  Costa Rica 6.92
30  Portugal 6.92
32  Slovenia 6.77
33  Poland 6.66
34  Greece 6.65
35  Slovakia 6.64
36  Malaysia 6.62
37  Argentina 6.52
38  Saudi Arabia 6.49
39  Brazil 6.41
40  Cuba 6.39
40  Mexico 6.39
42  Colombia 6.27
43  Peru 6.24
44  Estonia 6.07
44  Venezuela 6.07
46  Croatia 6.06
46  Hungary 6.06
48  Latvia 6.01
49  China 5.99
50  Thailand 5.96
51  Turkey 5.95
52  Dominican Republic 5.93
53  South Africa 5.89
54  Algeria 5.86
54  Serbia 5.86
56  Romania 5.85
57  Lithuania 5.82
58  Iran 5.78
59  Tunisia 5.77
60  Egypt 5.76
61  Bulgaria 5.73
62  El Salvador 5.72
63  Philippines 5.71
63  Sri Lanka 5.71
65  Ecuador 5.70
66  India 5.67
66  Morocco 5.67
68  Vietnam 5.64
69  Jordan 5.63
70  Azerbaijan 5.60
71  Indonesia 5.54
72  Russia 5.31
73  Syria 5.29
74  Kazakhstan 5.20
75  Pakistan 5.17
76  Angola 5.09
77  Bangladesh 5.07
78  Ukraine 4.98
79  Kenya 4.91
80  Nigeria 4.74

See also[edit]

Measurement and metrics[edit]

Indices[edit]

Notes[edit]