Though America may be the "land of opportunity," Switzerland is the best place to be born in 2013 according to a quality-of-life index from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The EIU, a sister company to The Economist magazine, determines quality of life based on surveys of the population covering 11 factors including wealth, crime, family life, trust in government and the stability of the economy.
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Income estimates for babies born in 2013 are based on projections for the year 2030, when those children will come of age.
The top ten best places to be born in 2013:
7. New Zealand
10. Hong Kong
With its small but very stable economy, Switzerland comes in first, wealthy, healthy and trusting of its public institutions. The United States, "where babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation, languishes back in 16th place," the EIU explains. Feeling the effects of the European monetary crisis, "the largest European economies, France (26), Germany (tied with the U.S. for 16) and Britain (27), don't do particularly well."
The quality-of-life index also reflects changes in the Middle East and North Africa, where "life expectancy continues to increase steadily and political freedoms have spread across the globe," though Nigeria comes in as the worst place for a baby to be born in 2013.
Other interesting rates include China, coming in at 49, and Russia, coming in at 72.
Back in 1988, the United States was in first place, with France in second, and West Germany in third. Zimbabwe was last, with Iraq second to last and Iran third to last.
The EIU explains that receiving a number one rating comes from a combination of the "yawn effect," (in spite of stability, the country is "irredeemably boring") and the "philistine factor (cultural poverty)." "Switzerland," the EIU claims, "scored terribly on both accounts."
For a more detailed explanation of how these numbers are calculated, see "the lottery of life methodology."
All said, the general takeaway from the index seems to be in today's world economy, a country's boring but stable environment results in the best quality of life for its citizens.
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