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The 15 Countries With The Highest Quality Of Life


The 15 Countries With The Highest Quality Of Life

girl hood happy

For a good chance at a happy life, head to Australia, which one again topped the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development‘s Better Life Index, which looks at the quality of life in member countries.

The (OECD) — an international economic organization — analyzed 34 countries in 11 categories, including income, housing, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety, and work-life balance. (You can read the full methodology here.)

We looked at the countries with the highest overall scores, and highlighted a few of the criteria on the following slides.

#15 Ireland

Average household disposable income: $24,104

The Irish have a strong sense of community — 96% of people believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need (higher than the OECD average of 90%).

They also rate highly in work-life balance, where the average employee works 1,543 hours a year, less than the OECD average of 1,776.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scale. Income is net-adjusted and in USD.

#14 Luxembourg

Average household disposable income: $23,047

Luxembourg rates well in both health and environment, with an average life expectancy of 81 years and a low level of atmospheric PM10 — tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs.

Citizens also have a high participation rate in the political process, with 91% of the population turning out for recent elections.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#13 Austria

Average household disposable income: $28,852

Austria has a high rate for education. 82% of Austrian adults ages 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high school degree.

Austrians also have a strong sense of community, with 94% of the population reporting they know someone they could rely on in a time of need.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#12 Finland

Average household disposable income: $25,739

Finland performed extremely well on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment — the average student scored 543 in reading literacy, math, and science, whereas the average OECD score was 497.

They also have a high level of life satisfaction with 82% of the population saying they have more positive experiences than negative ones in an average day.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#11 New Zealand

Average household disposable income: $21,892

New Zealand has one of the best rates of renewable energy of any OECD country with 36.47%.

Students also scored 524 in reading literacy, math, and science on the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment — higher than the average of 497.

And New Zealand girls outperformed boys by 15 points, higher than the average OECD gap of 9 points.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#10 United Kingdom

#10 United Kingdom

AP/RICHARD LEWIS

Average household disposable income: $23,047

85% of the English population say they have more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones.

They also have a high life expectancy of 81 years, and 97% of the people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#9 Iceland

Average household disposable income: $23,047

Iceland has high levels of civic participation — 98% of people believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need.

97% of the Iceland population are also extremely satisfied with their water quality, and Iceland has less air pollutant particles per cubic meter than the OECD average.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#8 Netherlands

#8 Netherlands

Average household disposable income: $25,493

People in the Netherlands only work 1,379 hours a year, significantly less than the OECD average of 1,776 hours.

They also test extremely high on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment with an average of 519 (the OECD average is 497).

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#7 Denmark

#7 Denmark

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Average household disposable income: $24,682

Denmark has one of the highest life satisfaction rankings, with 89% of the population reporting they have more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones.

The Danish also know how to balance their work life with their personal life — only 2% of employees say they work very long hours, much lower than the OECD average of 9%.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#6 United States

#6 United States

Assouline

Average household disposable income: $38,001

The U.S. has the highest average household disposable income on the list at $38,000 a year — much higher than the OECD average of $23,000.

It also ranks as one of the best countries for housing conditions, with good basic facilities and general feelings of safety and personal space.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#5 Switzerland

Average household disposable income: $30,060

86% of adults in Switzerland have earned the equivalent of a high school degree, and students scored 517 on the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment — higher than the average of 497.

The Swiss also have a high life expectancy at 83 years of age, and 95% of the population say they are satisfied with the quality of their water.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#4 Norway

Average household disposable income: $31,459

There is a strong sense of community and high levels of safety in Norway, where 93% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in a time of need.

Norwegians also tend to have a good work-life balance, with only 3% of employees working very long hours, compared to the OECD average of 9%.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#3 Canada

Average household disposable income: $28,194

Canadians work only 1,702 hours a year — less than the OECD average — with 72% of the population working at a paid job.

There is little difference in voting levels across society too, suggesting there is broad inclusion in Canada’s democratic institutions: Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 63% and for the bottom 20% it is 60%, a much smaller difference than the OECD average gap of 12 percentage points.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#2 Sweden

Average household disposable income: $26,242

Having a good education is extremely important in Sweden, where 87% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high school degree.

They also ranked highly in all environmental categories. Their level of air pollutant particles is 10 micrograms per cubic meter — considerably lower than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter — and 95% of the population is satisfied with their water quality.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#1 Australia

Average household disposable income: $28,884

For the second year in a row, Australia is the number one happiest country in the world. And it’s not hard to see why —they rank extremely well in health, civic engagement, and housing.

The life expectancy at birth in Australia is 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average.

Australia also has exceptional voter turnout at 93% during recent elections, which is far above the OECD average of 72%.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/top-countries-on-oecd-better-life-index-2013-5?op=1#ixzz2VDnSmmPo

Scandinavia avoids the financial crisis


While many western countries are still reeling from the widening economic crisis and some southern European economies are regarded as basket cases, Scandinavia has been weathering the global financial storm surprisingly well.

Economists and governments in other less-favoured economies are now starting to ask why it is that Scandinavian economies have been able to avoid the economic turmoil so successfully.

One crucial factor is that some Scandinavian countries received an early inoculation against the kind of boom and bust that has derailed larger and apparently more robust economies, which are still floundering since the US-led housing crash and subsequent financial crisis.

What can Ireland learn from the Scandinavian model?

“At the beginning of the 1990s, Norway, Sweden and Finland experienced a banking crisis when the housing bubble burst in the same way that other western economies have now been experiencing,” says Steinar Juel, the chief Norwegian economist at Nordea. “Sweden and Finland subsequently implemented good policies in banks together with new fiscal policy rulings.”

However, it is inaccurate to lump all of Scandinavia’s economies together under the assumption that all are equally robust or subject to the same pressures. Norway’s robust economy, for instance, is underpinned by its oil industry, which has benefited massively from the global rise in oil prices.

“The Norwegian economy is showing few signs of weakness and we see no reason to change our optimistic view of the economy going forward,” says Eric Bruce, an economist who also works for Nordea.

“Growth looks set to be high, but with increased labour immigration, an overheating of the economy and sharply rising costs will probably be avoided. Wage growth will be much higher than in neighbouring countries, but not so high as to push inflation above target.”

Strong wage and employment growth, coupled with low inflation, are boosting consumer purchasing power in Norway, with the result that consumption growth in the first half of this year was very high after last year’s weaker-than-expected trend. With an initial high level of savings and a sustained strong labour market, economists and market watchers see consumption growth continuing unabated into the next year.

Even at a time when many of Norway’s export markets are floundering, Norwegian companies continue to expand globally.

Companies in Scandinavia’s other economies are also pressing ahead with overseas expansion. Sweden’s Ericsson, the world’s largest mobile network equipment maker, is working with Mobile Communication Company of Iran to expand its network. Ericsson’s growing investment in Iran comes at a time when many western companies have stopped doing business there because of international sanctions.

But lacking Norway’s buffer of oil reserves Sweden may still be facing tougher times ahead.

Last month, Sweden’s pony-tailed finance minister Anders Borg, announced that he might have to cut the country’s growth estimates following the adverse effect of Europe’s debt crisis on the country’s exports.

According to economists, however, Sweden has been surprisingly resilient to the global turbulence and is significantly strengthened by consumer growth.

“Household finances are generally stable. A low inflation level and pay rises jack up households’ purchasing power,” says Torbjorn Isaksson, an economist at Nordea.

It is expected that real disposable income in Sweden will rise by about 2 per cent a year until 2014.

Economists are also looking towards growth in consumer spending to boost Denmark‘s economy. Danish economists predict that the economy will expand at a rate of 0.7 per cent this year, 1.9 per cent next year and 2.1 per cent in 2014.

Finland, however, is facing a slowdown in consumer spending growth, with economic activity decreasing across the board after the first quarter of this year.

Nevertheless, Nordea expects the Danish economy to gradually return to growth this year.

No one is certain that Scandinavia will continue to weather the global financial storm. But economists remain confident that their social systems will act as a stabiliser.

“When companies face difficulties and lay off staff, the government gives them money to live on and helps them find another job. This is focused to keep the economy on at an even level through difficult times,” Mr Juel says.

Strengthening social networks could be difficult medicine for some western economies to swallow. But it should be remembered that many of the social safeguards existing in non-Scandinavian economies were put in place as a direct response to financial crises in the last century.

pf@thenational.ae

Topic Finland Norway Sweden

The facts s to why Finland Norway Sweden re doing ok

Norway Underpinned by high oil prices and exports of related equipment and services, Norway’s problems are those of success. Growth is predicted to be high, but increased labour immigration will reduce the risk of costs rising sharply and the economy overheating. It is predicted that wage growth will be much higher than in neighbouring countries, but not so high as to push inflation above target. However, strong economic growth could mean higher interest rates over the next couple of years.

Sweden Despite a weakening labour and export market since the global financial crisis, Sweden’s economy is proving to be remarkably resilient. The country’s GDP and employment rose again during the first half of this year. Nevertheless, the global economic situation has forced the Swedish finance minister Anders Borg to reduce the country’s growth targets.

Denmark Although Denmark’s economy has been languishing when compared with Norway and Sweden, activity has remained at about the same level since the autumn of 2010. But it is widely expected that the economy will gradually start to grow again this year, accelerating to 2.1 per cent in 2014. The expected reversal of economic trends will be driven by growing consumer spending.

Finland With its economy no longer propelled by mobile phone maker Nokia, which once accounted for half the value of the Helsinki stock exchange, Finland faces difficulties typified by a slowdown in consumer spending, a growing public sector deficit and an export market that is not expected to start to recover until next year. Nordea has lowered its forecast for economic growth next year from 1.6 per cent to 1.2 per cent. In 2014, growth is expected to be 2.8 per cent.

Tony Glover

The fact that Scandinavian countries have onerous tax systems and generous state welfare benefits seems to contradict accepted economic wisdom in other parts of the world, such as in the United States and the United Kingdom, where the role of the state is generally being rolled back where possible in response to the global crisis.

“Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden all belong to the exclusive club of countries with top ratings from the major credit rating agencies. These countries have status as safe havens in financial markets,” says Helge Pedersen, the global chief economist at Nordea, a financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Welfare State  the Scandinavian model click on the link below

http://econ.au.dk/fileadmin/site_files/filer_oekonomi/Working_Papers/Economics/2011/wp11_01.pdf

via Scandinavia avoids the financial crisis – The National.

via Scandinavia avoids the financial crisis – The National.

Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII)


Top 10 Leaders in overall innovation performance as per the Global Innovation Index are:

The list of overall GII top 10 performers has changed little from last year. Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore are followed in the top ten by Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), Ireland, and the United States of America. Canada is the only country leaving the top 10 this year, mirroring weakening positions on all main GII innovation input and output pillars. The report shows that the U.S.A. continues to be an innovation leader but also cites relative shortfalls in areas such as education, human resources and innovation outputs as causing a drop in its innovation ranking.

Top 10 Leaders in the Global Innovation Index

Switzerland

Sweden

Singapore

Finland

United Kingdom

Netherlands

Denmark

Hong Kong (China)

Ireland

United States of America

1. Switzerland

2. Sweden

3. Singapore

4. Finland

5. United Kingdom

6. Netherlands

7. Denmark

8. Hong Kong (China)

9. Ireland

10. United States of America

Global Innovation Index 2012 - Trade News in Brief

Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII).

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