Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best Places for Quality of Life 2011

I just received my brand new January 2011 issue of International Living Magazine. Can you believe it's been a whole  year since we looked at I.L.'s  Best Places to Live? Well it's true. One year ago almost to this day we counted off the International Living Annual Quality of Life index highlighting the Top 10 places to live on the planet.

The 2010 List of Best Places to Live was:

1. France
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
4. Germany
5. New Zealand
6. Luxembourg
7. US
8. Belgium
9. Canada
10. Italy

For 2011 the Best Places for Quality of life have changed up a little. In reverse oder, here's where I.L. thinks we'll find the highest quality of life in 2011 -

10. Germany (4th in 2010)
9. Austria (not in top 10 last year)
8. The United Kingdom (not in top 10 last year)
7. Japan (not in top 10 last year)
6. Belgium (8th in 2010)
5. Monaco (not in top 10 last year)
4. France (1st in 2010)
3. Malta (not in top 10 last year)
2. New Zealand (5th in 2010)

and the Best Place for Quality of Living in 2011 goes to,

The United States ! (The United States was ranked the 7th best place for quality of life in 2010)

It's interesting to note that half of these countries weren;t even in the top ten last year. So, what's changed? Well over the next few weeks I offer some comments on each country that appeared on this years list. Of course I will also attempt to build in some info about the cheapest places to live in each country and which ones may present as the Best Places to Retire.

Last year I had a few comments and questions about how the list is created. It's pretty much the same story every year and I will admit I.L. has soem huge gaps in how they measure Quality of Life but they do at least focus in on some pretty important criteria that most people would actually use in their personal judgement. I.L. considers the following when creating their list - Cost of Living; Culture; Economy; Environment; Freedom; Health; Infrastructure; Safety and Climate. Of course the rating is subjective and done by their staffers so it's not exactly an unbiased view. But admittedly they say, "Every index is prone to nonsense by numbers which is why we include some subjectivity."

Regardless, I quite enjoy this list  picking it apart and looking at each country. It's fun, interesting and always giving me food for thought when I think about where I want to live, next!

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