What to Expect, January 18, 2013
Every year dozens of groups publish their “Best Places to Live” lists, and this year is no exception.
But this time around, at least one trend-spotting firm is providing a novel take on that theme. It has developed a list of the top countries to be born in during the calendar year 2013.
This new report comes from a group called the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU is a research organization that’s closely tied to the prestigious Economist magazine. The group regularly provides industry executives with business outlooks and economic forecasts, along with livability and cost-of-living reports for cities around the world.
Now it is offering that same first-class research to parents-to-be.
In its latest report, the EIU looked at life and living conditions in 80 countries. It evaluated factors such as life expectancy at birth, political freedom, quality of family life, quality of community life, job security, personal safety, gender equality, and other measures. According to the Huffington Post, parents who want their 2013 babies to have the best shot at a happy, healthy, and prosperous existence should certainly check out the list.
So where should you lay down roots if you want your little ones to have the greatest life possible?
That’s followed by Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, in that order. Singapore shows up in slot #6, followed by New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, and Hong Kong. And that does it for the top ten spots.
The last time the EIU published such a guide was back in 1988 — coincidentally the same year my daughters were born.
Back then the good old USA took the blue ribbon in the EIU listing. Now America languishes at slot #16. (It shares this spot with Germany.)
Why the demotion? Because of the huge debt the 2013 babies will inherit from the boomer generation, according to the EIU assessment. (Okay, everyone else says that, too.)
On a brighter note (which I say only because I’m a parent and because I’m also quite competitive) emerging powers like China, India, Brazil, and Russia didn’t make the top of the list either. And, sadly, Nigeria came in last.
To cheer myself up, I wanted to see how my own home state, New Jersey, ranks these days on quality-of-life assessments. I was surprised to learn that my beloved state, like my beloved country, didn’t rank as high as I thought.
On the other hand, an August 2012 Monmouth University poll indicated residents here think that while the quality of New Jersey life has slipped a bit in recent months, most think it’s still “a good or excellent place to live“.
I think the same thing’s true for the USA as well.