The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked its list of the best countries to be born in in 2013. That's exciting for a number of fetuses out there, whose impending entrance into the world might just be made in the number one best place.
The ranking is based on "subjective life-satisfaction surveys-how happy people say they are-to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries." The index uses 11 indicators to compile its rankings, including life expectancy, political freedoms, climate and GDP. (You can get a full explanation of the method used here.)
The top ten countries are:
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
- Hong Kong
So congratulations little Heidi or Hansel or Gretel or whatever your Swiss parents are going to name you, baby. May your life be full of Tag Heuer watches and fine chocolates.
If you are any kind of patriot, you'll notice the good old U.S. of A. does not make an appearance on the list. The national debt and gender equality issues hurt the USA — the land of the white, straight man — which lands on the list at 16, tied with Germany. We're still doing much better than Nigeria though, which falls last on the list.
The last time this list was compiled was 1988 and the USA ranked first, however the indicators were a little different and it was done mostly as a joke (there was a "yawn index," which is "the degree to which a country might, despite all its virtues, be irredeemably boring"), so the two aren't really comparable.
The list also takes into account projections for 2030 (when babies born now will reach adulthood).