Some good news for the Irish disaphora today that, despite the recession, high levels of emigration and lousy weather, Ireland remains one of the best countries in the world in which to be born, according to a new survey.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks Ireland 12th among 80 countries in terms of the life chances of a child born in 2013. The EIU rates Ireland ahead of Germany (joint 16th) and France (26th) while also ranking the country above the UK (27th) and the US (joint 16th), the two most popular destinations for Irish emigrants. We are rated behind Australia (2nd), New Zealand (7th) and Canada (9th), other favoured destinations for the current generation of Irish emigrants. Switzerland may have a reputation for being dull, but it is also the best country in the world in which to be born, according to the EIU.
The unit used 11 different indicators to rank countries. Prosperity, both present and projected, was the main indicator. Others included life expectancy, quality of family life, trust in public institutions, health, education, crime and contentment as measured in personal satisfaction surveys. Ireland still scores high on the latter category with high levels of reported satisfaction, but low in terms of climate. The EIU survey is similar to the one carried out by the Economist magazine which famously ranked Ireland as the best country in the world in which to live in 2004, a decision which was met with pride and derision in equal measure.
Mr Kekic said Ireland retained many of its strengths, most notably family and social cohesion, while remaining a prosperous country relatively speaking. “I’ve been asked why Ireland is so high in views of all these troubles, but you have to keep things in perspective,” he said. “When you look at the profile of Ireland and its general economic wealth despite the crisis, it is relatively well placed.”The survey differs in it’s attempts to measure what life will be like for a child born this year who enters adult life in 2030. Laza Kekic, the regional director of the EIU and one of the authors of the survey, said the results showed smaller countries are better to live in than big countries. “There seems to be a positive small country effect,” he said. “Many of the large countries fall down on things like health, life expectancy, while quality of family and community life are not great,” he said citing the examples of the US and the UK, which have high divorce rates.
Born Lucky: The Economist decides
7 New Zealand
10 Hong Kong
=28 Czech Republic
=30 Costa Rica
c/o The Irish Times