The 5 Best Countries to Live In

BusinessWorld news 1

The 5 Best Countries to Live In

thinkstockphotos-179077153

Money, it does not seem, buy happiness, at least country by country. The advancement of a nation is often confused with economic growth. However, while economic strength is certainly a country’s means of development, is it what ultimately determines how developed that country is? According to the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), other factors such as human freedom should be the key in quantifying and evaluating development.

Based on the 2015 HDI, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most and least livable countries. Data from the Index is based on three dimensions of human progress: longevity, education, and financial stability. As was the case last year, Norway is the most livable country in the world..

A good income can have a tremendous impact on standard of living. Healthy food, access to exercise facilities, insurance, and the education necessary to increase one’s position in life all have monetary costs. The U.N. used gross national income in its calculation of the HDI to reflect the standard of living in a country. In the most developed countries, gross income per capita is generally quite high. All of the world’s 5 most livable countries have among the top 30 gross national incomes per person. The top rated country, Norway, has the world’s sixth highest gross national income per capita of $63,909

In the countries at the top of the HDI, large shares of the labor force are employed in relatively high-paying service sector jobs. And, in the countries at the top of the HDI, large shares of the labor force are employed in relatively high-paying service sector jobs.

Education is not only the basis of economic prosperity, but also a key feature of personal fulfillment. Compared to emerging nations and other countries at the bottom of the HDI’s ranking, residents of the most livable countries tend to spend many more years in school. Germans, Brits, and Canadians spend around 13 years getting an education, on average, the most years of any countries in the world.

Life expectancies, another factor considered in the Human Development Index, are also far higher in advanced economies. Japan, Singapore, and Switzerland, for example, each report life expectancies at birth of at least 83 years. By this metric, the United States is a relative laggard. The mean life expectancy at birth in the United States of 79.1 years is ranked just 36th worldwide. Individuals born in the U.S. are still expected to live as many as two decades longer than babies born in many of the Sub-Saharan African nations at the other end of the HDI.

To identify the most livable countries in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed social and economic data covering 188 countries. All data was provided in the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index, a report released annually for the past 25 years. Life expectancy at birth is provided by the UN Population Division in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); mean years of schooling are based on UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) educational attainment data and, for some countries, Barro and Lee (2013) methodology where UIS data are not available; expected years of schooling is provided by UIS; and GNI per capita (in 2011 $PPP) by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. For several countries, mean years of schooling is estimated from nationally representative household surveys and for some countries GNI was obtained from the UN Statistical Division’s database – National Accounts Main Aggregates Database.

These are the five best countries to live in:

5. Netherlands

  • Population: 16.8 million
  • GNI per capita: $45,435
  • Life expectancy at birth: 81.6 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 89.0%

The Netherlands, like many other Western European nations, has a high life expectancy and a strong education system. The Netherlands spends 12.9% of its $755.3 billion GDP on public health, a higher share than any country other than the United States. Partially as a result, Dutch citizens have remarkably good health outcomes. The Netherlands’ infant mortality rate of 3.3 deaths per 1,000 newborns is almost half of the infant mortality rate across OECD nations. Similarly, the country’s 81.6 year life expectancy at birth is among the highest worldwide. A higher share of Dutch children are enrolled in secondary school than in all but two other countries. If current enrollment patterns continue, a Dutch child can expect to receive about 18 years of schooling, the seventh highest of any nation.

4. Denmark

  • Population: 5.6 million
  • GNI per capita: $44,025
  • Life expectancy at birth: 80.2 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 96.1%

High public spending on education helps Danish citizens enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Denmark spends 8.8% of its $235.7 billion GDP on public education, compared to the average OECD expenditure 5.1%. Partially as a result, Denmark has a higher share of students enrolled in secondary school than in all but three other countries. If current enrollment patterns continue, Dutch children can expect to receive 18.7 years of education, a longer period than in all but three other countries.

Compared to most advanced economies, Denmark is relatively safe. There is less than one homicide per 100,000 Danes, much less than the 4 murders per 100,000 persons across all OECD nations.

3. Switzerland

  • Population: 8.2 million
  • GNI per capita: $56,431
  • Life expectancy at birth: 83.0 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 95.7%

Switzerland is home to one of the healthiest populations in the world. Life expectancy at birth in the nation is 83 years, higher than in all but three other countries. A long life expectancy may be attributable to higher than average investment in public health. Switzerland spends 11.5% of its total GDP on public health, one of the largest shares in the world. Switzerland is also a relatively safe country. With roughly 0.6 homicides for every 100,000 residents, the country’s murder rate is one of the lowest of countries reviewed.

Along with health and safety, the Swiss also do well by several education-related measures. The country’s schools are proving effective as Swiss students rank seventh in the world in mathematics. They also rank among the 20 top in reading and science.

2. Australia

  • Population: 23.6 million
  • GNI per capita: $42,261
  • Life expectancy at birth: 82.4 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 94.4%

By international standards of wealth, health, and education, Australia is the second most livable country. Australia currently has the highest share of children enrolled in secondary school of any nation. Australian children are expected to spend over two decades getting an education in their lifetimes, the highest years of expected schooling worldwide.

Relatively few adults in Australia die prematurely. Just 45 females and 78 males for every 1,000 Australians die before reaching the age of 60, much lower than the adult mortality rates of 61 females and 113 males for every 1,000 people who die prematurely across all OECD nations. At the age of 60, the average Australian can expect to live for about 25 more years, the third highest old-age life expectancy on the planet.

1. Norway

  • Population: 5.1 million
  • GNI per capita: $64,992
  • Life expectancy at birth: 81.6 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 97.1%

While each of the Scandinavian nations has historically done very well in the HDI, Norway has ranked first in each of the last five years of the report’s release. Like most other nations with a high quality of life, Norway’s population tends to be very wealthy. The country’s GNI per capita of $64,992 is among the highest in the world. It is also more than $12,000 per person higher than the U.S. GNI per capita. Like its Scandinavian neighbors, wealth and other aspects, such as employment and political power, are relatively evenly distributed throughout the population based on gender. The country ranks as one of the best of countries reviewed in the HDI gender equality index.

The 5 Best Countries to Live In

Advertisements

Want a better life? Move here

image

Want a better life? Move here

Australia is the happiest place to live.

The country has retained top spot in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual Better Life Index. The OECD ranks the world’s developed economies according to 11 different criteria it views as essential to a happy life.

Australians enjoy low pollution and high levels of personal security. They rank top in civic engagement, and above average in health, housing, social connections, and income.

The downside? Australians find it difficult to strike a balance between work and life. They work some of the longest hours in the developed world, and devote the least time to leisure and personal care, the OECD said.

Sodermalm waterfront, Stockholm, Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe

Sodermalm waterfront, Stockholm, Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe

Sweden has overtaken Norway to claim second place in the ranking. The Scandinavian country ranks top for quality of the environment, and above average in work-life balance, life satisfaction, health, and education.

The OECD has been searching for the key to happiness and well-being for nearly 15 years. A lead researcher with the organization, Romina Boarini, said the Better Life Index takes account of some traditional measures — such as income and employment — but tries to get to the heart of what makes people happy by including other factors

Swedes enjoy high household income and good job security. Sweden’s worst indicator is personal safety. The report said 5.1% of people reported falling victim to assault over the previous 12 months, above the OECD average of 3.9%.

image

Buildings of The Barcode Project are reflected on the water at sunset in Oslo on November 18, 2012. The row of new high-rise buildings are part of a redevelopment on former dock and industrial land in central Oslo, due to be completed in 2014. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX / Cornelius Poppe (Photo credit should read CORNELIUS POPPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Norway slipped one spot to third place compared to last year, but still ranks above average in most criteria.

It is one of the leaders in well-being, which the researchers measure by looking at the more subjective indicators, such as life satisfaction and equality.

The OECD’s Boarini said these “intangible” criteria are important to people’s overall happiness.

image.jpeg

Switzerland ranks fourth overall, and near the top for jobs, health, and life satisfaction.

It has the second highest household income in the index, after the United States.

“Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards,” the report said.

The Better Life Index compares 36 countries based on 11 topics and dozens of criteria.

image

Denmark, fifth in the ranking, has the best record for work-life balance and happiness.

Danes are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, rating their general satisfaction with life at 7.5 out of 10 points, compared to the average of 6.6 points

The index also lets people assign their own weightings to the criteria, and see how that would affect the rankings.

image

The interactive tool helps the researchers determine what makers people happy.

“We ask people to rank the different dimensions of the index, which allows us to understand their priorities,” said Boarini. The rankings published by the OECD assign equal weight to all 11 categories.

Canada, the sixth happiest country, is ranked above average in most criteria.

image

The Empire State Building and lower Manhattan can be seen from the 90th story of One World Trade Center in New York, April 30, 2012. New York’s skyline got a new king April 30, 2012 after the still unfinished World Trade Center tower, built to replace the destroyed Twin Towers, crept above the venerable Empire State Building. AFP PHOTO / Pool / Lucas JACKSON (Photo credit should read LUCAS JACKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

The U.S. comes top in income and housing, ranking seventh overall.

It is, however, only average in education, environment, safety, and work-like balance.

Even then, Americans tend to be more satisfied with life compared to people in other OECD countries, the research showed.

image

New Zealanders are the healthiest people in the developed world — 90% of people in New Zealand said they were in good health.

Life expectancy stands at 82 years in New Zealand, two years above the OECD average.

image

Iceland, ranked ninth in the index, enjoys a very high employment rate, good income levels and above average job security.

Boarini said that people tend to rank education, healthcare and life satisfaction as more important measures than incomes or jobs.

image

Finland is the 10th happiest developed country.

It ranks top in education and skills, which are among the criteria highlighted as the most important to overall well-being by the Better Life Index.

Finland is the 10th happiest developed country.

Related: This electric Finnish supercar has 1,341 horsepower

It ranks top in education and skills, which are among the criteria highlighted as the most important to overall well-being by the Better Life Index.

Finland is the 10th happiest developed country.

Related: This electric Finnish supercar has 1,341 horsepower

It ranks top in education and skills, which are among the criteria highlighted as the most important to overall well-being by the Better Life Index.

Finland is the 10th happiest developed country.

Related: This electric Finnish supercar has 1,341 horsepower

It ranks top in education and skills, which are among the criteria highlighted as the most important to overall well-being by the Better Life Index.

image

Want a better life? Move here

The Best Superyacht Toys For Billionaires And Beyond

We anchored in a calm bay off a small gem of a Caribbean island for the weekend. The warm crystal clear azure waters were calm and inviting. I was anxious to sunbathe and sip champagne but our superyacht host was more excited to introduce us to his new exotic toy collection. Flashbacks from my childhood immediately came to mind with my father always wanting to one-up our neighbors by having the latest and greatest luxury toys to show off.

The collection of toys on our yacht from a massive water slide to a floating island were impressive and after sampling a prototype of a new hovercraft, I was compelled to put together the best of the best for 2015 for the billionaire superyacht owner and beyond.

Quadrofoil

Superpool

Radinn Electric Wakeboard

Flyboard

Jetlev-Flyer

Inflatable Climbing Wall

Seabobs

Supercraft

The Best Superyacht Toys For Billionaires And Beyond

The World’s 26 Best Cities for Business, Life, and Innovation

1

What is the greatest city in the world?

  1. New York
  2. Toronto
  3. San Francisco
  4. Stockholm
  5. Sydney
  6. London
  7. Chicago
  8. Paris
  9. Singapore
  10. Hong Kong
  11. Houston
  12. Los Angeles
  13. Berlin
  14. Tokyo
  15. Madrid
  16. Seoul
  17. Beijing
  18. Abu Dhabi
  19. Shanghai
  20. Mexico City
  21. Moscow
  22. Santiago
  23. Istanbul
  24. Sao Paolo
  25. Johannesburg
  26. Mumbai

The World’s 26 Best Cities for Business, Life, and Innovation.

Porsche designs a high-rise

The Porsche Design Tower under construction near Miami, Florida, features a virtuosic parking system that whisks vehicles up to sky garages adjacent to handsome floor plans. This thrill ride for plutocrats offers oceanfront views during the ascent inside the 57-floor, 132-unit condominium building, via one of three glass-walled elevators. And once comfortably ensconced in their living rooms, residents can gaze fondly at their cars through a glass wall.

The project, dubbed P’0001, is a joint venture between Gil Dezer, owner and president of Dezer Development

BBC – Autos – Porsche designs a high-rise.

 

Worlds coolest superyachts

Beach clubs, submarines and hybrid technology make these boats some of coolest superyachts in the world.

Most innovative: Maltese Falcon – Worlds coolest superyachts – CNNMoney.