Where Is the Best Place to Be Born in 2013?

Of course, it's the country whose people eat more chocolate, ride more trains and commit more suicides with guns than anyone else

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Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters

A cow stands on a mountain-pass road in the Swiss Alps

Of course, it’s the country with the most bunkers per capita, whose people eat more chocolate, ride more trains and commit more suicides with guns than anyone else: Switzerland.

Using a set of parameters ranging from the number of seats in parliament held by women, to life expectancy, divorce rates and average rainfall, the Economist Intelligence Unit released its yearly ranking of countries that offer the best opportunities for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for children born in the coming year.

Switzerland, a landlocked, multilingual country of 8 million at the heart of Europe but outside the E.U., leads the ranking, followed by Australia and Norway. Five of the top 10 countries are in Europe. Canada ranks ninth. The business hubs Singapore and Hong Kong are leading in Asia.

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The U.S. ties with Germany at 16, behind Ireland — a country that almost defaulted over its debt during the financial crisis — and Taiwan. A quarter of a century ago, the U.S. led the global ranking, and all other 10 leading nations were European with the exception of Japan, then ranked sixth. But 25 years of heavy debt and slow economic growth has pulled Japan, still the world’s third largest economy, down to 25th place, behind sleepy Cyprus and Chile.

The United Arab Emirates, home to the economic hub Dubai, is the first place in the Middle East to make the list, coming in at 18. Israel places 20th. (The Palestinian territories are not included in the survey, but considering an unemployment rate that’s three times higher and per capita income almost 30 times lower than its neighbor’s, it would arguably rank much lower.)

Latin America’s most auspicious place is its country with the highest life expectancy, Costa Rica, which comes in at 30, ahead of Brazil (37), Mexico (39) and Argentina (40). South Africa is the best place to be born in Africa, but that’s still not saying much: the country comes in at 53. China, the world’s second largest economy, ranks 49th. India, the world’s most populous democracy, ranks 66th.

Among the 80 countries surveyed, Nigeria ranked last. Riven by poverty, corruption and sectarian violence, “it is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013,” the study said.

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NOT a very diverse poll.


Nigeria, the worst place to be born YET the happiest and most enthusiastic people I have ever met in my life. Switzerland the best country YET the most suicide by guns. Life can be such an irony sometimes.


While I am a US citizen, live in Switzerland, and happen to agree that it's an amazing place to live and raise a family, I find the opening paragraph of this story a bit bitter. The US is running itself into the ground and as an expat it's much easier to see, and it's a shame. But, that doesn't mean the author has to point out negativity against a country that has always done very well.

EtienneCartier like.author.displayName 1 Like

You mention "Costa RIca"  (30) as the best in Latin America but the best in Latin America according to the list is CHILE (23). So you will need to correct that mistake.

helorits like.author.displayName 1 Like

These rankings are so theoretical based on money and wealth. It does't measure happiness and comfortableness with easy access to public transportation, healthy lifestyle, good weather conditions and social environmental living. Norway is such a hard place to live due to its harsh weather conditions that make people very introverted. I believe it's true material wise to live up north were the gloomy, rainy, cold and snowy weather is constant and lack of sun and D-vitamins lead to depression and physical sickness, Norway has it all, but social wise with milder weather conditions are better, there are far more other countries that will offer a better life.

PlumbLine like.author.displayName 1 Like

The absolute Best Place to be born in 2013 is to be BORN OF THE SPIRIT.........which can happen right where you are, now.........

......John 3:5-7......5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’........

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, by turning from sin, and asking Jesus Christ into your heart and life, and you will be Born again of the Spirit of God........

millgrist like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

next time i get a chance to choose where i'm birthed .... i'll be sure to take this article under consideration  ; )