Where-to-be-born Index

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

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 a 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 females holding seats in national Houses of Assembly)

2013 rankings

RankCountryScore
(out of 10)
1  Switzerland8.22
2 Australia8.12
3 Norway8.09
4 Sweden8.02
5 Denmark8.01
6 Singapore8.00
7 New Zealand7.95
8 Netherlands7.94
9 Canada7.81
10 Hong Kong7.80
11 Finland7.76
12 Ireland7.74
13 Austria7.73
14 Taiwan7.67
15 Belgium7.51
16 Germany7.38
16 United States7.38
18 United Arab Emirates7.33
19 South Korea7.25
20 Israel7.23
21 Italy7.21
22 Kuwait7.18
23 Chile7.10
23 Cyprus7.10
25 Japan7.08
26 France7.04
27 United Kingdom7.01
28 Czech Republic6.96
28 Spain6.96
30 Costa Rica6.92
30 Portugal6.92
32 Slovenia6.77
33 Poland6.66
34 Greece6.65
35 Slovakia6.64
36 Malaysia6.62
37 Argentina6.52
38 Saudi Arabia6.49
39 Brazil6.41
40 Cuba6.39
40 Mexico6.39
42 Colombia6.27
43 Peru6.24
44 Estonia6.07
44 Venezuela6.07
46 Croatia6.06
46 Hungary6.06
48 Latvia6.01
49 China5.99
50 Thailand5.96
51 Turkey5.95
52 Dominican Republic5.93
53 South Africa5.89
54 Algeria5.86
54 Serbia5.86
56 Romania5.85
57 Lithuania5.82
58 Iran5.78
59 Tunisia5.77
60 Egypt5.76
61 Bulgaria5.73
62 El Salvador5.72
63 Philippines5.71
63 Sri Lanka5.71
65 Ecuador5.70
66 India5.67
66 Morocco5.67
68 Vietnam5.64
69 Jordan5.63
70 Azerbaijan5.60
71 Indonesia5.54
72 Russia5.31
73 Syria5.29
74 Kazakhstan5.20
75 Pakistan5.17
76 Angola5.09
77 Bangladesh5.07
78 Ukraine4.98
79 Kenya4.91
80 Nigeria4.74

1988 rankings

The original quality-of-life index was released in 1988. 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.[1][3]

RankCountry
1 United States
2 France
3 West Germany
4 Italy
5 Canada
6 Japan
7 Hong Kong
7 United Kingdom
9 Sweden
10 Netherlands
10 South Korea
12 Austria
13 Norway
13  Switzerland
15 Belgium
15 Ireland
15 Spain
18 Australia
18 Finland
18 New Zealand
21 Argentina
21 Soviet Union
23 Poland
24 Denmark
24 Hungary
24 Philippines
27 Greece
27 India
27 Mexico
30 Brazil
30 Israel
32 China
32 Portugal
32 United Arab Emirates
32 Venezuela
36 East Germany
36 Singapore
38 Malaysia
39 Yugoslavia
40 South Africa
41 Turkey
42 Indonesia
43 Pakistan
44 Egypt
45 Libya
46 Saudi Arabia
47 Nigeria
48 Iran
48 Iraq
48 Zimbabwe

See also

Measurement and metrics

Indices

Notes

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