The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist, determines quality of life based on surveys of the population covering 11 factors including wealth, crime, family life, trust in government and the stability of the economy.
Living estimates for babies born in 2013 are based on projections for the year 2030, when those children will come of age.
Small economies dominate the top ten. Half of these are European, but only one, the Netherlands, is from the euro zone. The Nordic countries shine, whereas the crisis-ridden south of Europe (Greece, Portugal and Spain) lags behind despite the advantage of a favourable climate. The largest European economies (Germany, France and Britain) do not do particularly well. These are the top 10 countries:
- Switzerland (8.22)
- Australia (8.12)
- Norway (8.09)
- Sweden (8.02)
- Denmark (8.01)
- Singapore (8.00)
- New Zealand (7.95)
- Netherlands (7.94)
- Canada (7.31)
- Hong Kong (7.80)
Other interesting ratings include China, coming in 49th place, and Russia, coming in 72th place.
Back in 1988, the United States (now 16th) was in first place, with France in second (now 26th), and West Germany in third. Zimbabwe was last, with Iraq second to last and Iran third to last.