The Economist magazine came out with their trademark Year in Review issue this week (stay tuned over the next few weeks for our “year end” articles and what we think 2013 might look like) and it had some interesting stuff in it. The article that caught my attention was the analysis they did on where the best places to be born are today. In other words, The Economist used a variety of metrics (such as education, healthcare, income, etc) that looked at which countries are in the best circumstances to provide a good life for their citizens going forward.
Here is the shortlist:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- Germany & USA
- South Korea
So the True North Strong and Free came in at #9, a very Canadian thing to do when you think about it. I rarely see fellow Canucks running around shouting, “We’re Number One!” Number nine is pretty decent when you look at the rest of the list. None of the countries ranked in the top eight really surprise me that much and it seems that we are often compared to these places whenever country rankings come out. What is more polite than effectively saying, “We’re pretty good, and we’re sort of happy about that, but not overly proud”? Yay, Canada.
The more interesting finding to me was the USA and Germany tied for 16th place respectively. This basically confirms the feeling in those two countries that they have seen better days, and that they are going in the wrong direction. It seems a little crazy to consider that Ireland who is just coming out of a major financial crisis, and Taiwan who isn’t even a recognized country by most of the world would come out ahead of the Stars and Stripes. Income inequality was cited as one of the key reasons for this relatively low ranking, and one can only that the political gridlock that has taken the USA hostage sees a list like this and wakes up (I’m not betting it on it though). It’s a little telling when a country like Israel that lives in perpetual fear is only a few spots behind the former unquestioned sole hegemonic power.
No word yet on if Psy and the K-pop movement are solely responsible for moving South Korea up the ranks. Continue Reading