There are about 11,000 babies born everyday in the United States. Thats about 450 every hour, and 7 every minute. For several decades conventional wisdom has suggested that the best country in the world for a baby to be born is the United States.
Recent research from the Economist, The World in 2013 however offers a different view. In a recent survey that combines quality-of-life indices, subjective life-satisfaction surveys, objective quality of life assessments, economy, government, and economic opportunities across 80 countries, it forecasts how a baby born in 2013 might fare in 2030.
Turns out that after some sophisticated (ahem) number crunching, babies born in Switzerland in 2013 will be the winners in the lottery of life. Australian babies will be a close second. The United States, ranked first in 1988 now falls to the 16nth spot (tied with Germany) , presumably due to the dysfunctional politics, and the debt it will pass on to younger generations. High flying BRIC countries don’t score well either – over-population, economic disparities, and corruption are the principal culprits. My own country of birth India fell to a lowly 66. The Euro Zone overall did not do well either.
Overall, smaller, economies fared better, and the Nordic countries outside of the Euro Zone fared the best.
Despite being boring, STABILITY will be the gold standard for many economies over the next few decades.
Even though it is highly debatable to put a number on human happiness, and probably impossible to do so on human potential, the study offers directional guidance to where we’re headed as a people, not just nations.
Welcome to 2013!