The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of The Economist recently released data related to quality of life and the top places to be born in 2013, with Switzerland coming in first. The data is collected based upon a series of independent variables and parameters in order to find what is believed to be the best quality of life and living standards.
European countries were shown to top the list, highlighting some of the economic standards to which these countries were in the best shape. Denmark ranks in at 5, Canada at 9, and both Germany and the United States tied at 16. The EIU found and reported in its data, “output growth rates have been declining across the world, but income levels are at or near historic highs. Life expectancy continues to increase steadily and political freedoms have spread across the globe." It was found that the small economies tend to do well in the broader global outlook. In addition, it was found that the Nordic countries shine, while areas of crisis in the South of Europe (mostly Greece, Portugal, and Spain) lag behind despite a more temperate climate. In this way, one can see how the global financial crisis has affected different regions of the world.
Despite these rankings, it is fair to say that countries with little to no economic changes prosper. The surveys and statistics provided by the EIU correspond to changes between countries in regards to happiness and income. For example, it was found that people with higher incomes in rich countries are more satisfied with life than those with lower incomes. Of course, there are conditions associated with this fact related to the trends seen in developed countries. Mostly, though, the data holds true that economics does play a role in one's happiness and quality of life that in effect makes Nordic countries stand out from the crowd.
Clearly, richer countries such as Great Britain or the United States are still in somewhat of a financial crisis. While, the findings are based on a set of principles as to whether a country is fit to bring a child into it—there is no guarantee that that child will be happy regardless. Whether one agrees with the data or not, it cannot be said that the method to obtain the data is not highly methodical or analytical.