A recently completed survey of lifestyles around the world has named the three countries with the highest quality of life as Norway, Iceland and Australia.
The survey came to its conclusions based on hundreds of tables of social and economic data. The research was published in the ‘The Economist’s Pocket World in Figures’. The study considered factors in 200 categories across 180 countries.
While Australians may have the edge on residents of Iceland with their sun, sand and surf, they lag woefully behind their northern compatriots in terms of their dependence on fossil fuels. While Iceland is making a name for itself globally as a country of sustainable resource use, Australia ranked eighth globally in terms of its carbon emissions.
Australians are proud to be ranked third globally and seem ready to take on Norway and Iceland for top place. David Chalke, a social analyst working for AustraliaSCAN, says judging the quality of life by statistical measures alone is inadequate.
“Why would you want to live in Norway? You get 24-hour darkness in the country’s northern part during the winter,” he said. “And they speak a language that 99 per cent of the rest of the world doesn’t understand.”
“As for Iceland,” Mr Chalke continued, “they have no trees and black beaches. But they do have one advantage over us — no flies, mosquitoes and snakes.”