Study Ranks Iceland No. 1 in Economic Opportunity, Quality of Life

iceland-mountZimbabwe ranked worst on Economic Opportunity & Quality of Life Index by C.W. Post researchers Panos Mourdoukoutas and Abraham Stefanidis

Brookville, N.Y. – The world’s best mix of economic opportunity and quality of life is found in Iceland, while the worst is in Zimbabwe, according to a new analysis by a professor of economics at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

Iceland tops the ranking of 120 countries because it offers the ideal “cocktail” or mix of economic freedom, ease of doing business, global connectivity, research and development and competitiveness with environmental sustainability, education and public health, according to professor Panos Mourdoukoutas and research associate Abraham Stefanidis.

The United States is ranked No. 11, behind Iceland, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Singapore. The countries with the worst Economic Opportunity and Quality of Life ratings were Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Guinea, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. To see the complete list, visit

The best-ranked countries “allow free and open markets to do what they do best – release the ingenuity and creativity of the people to search for ways to improve their own lives economically,” Mourdoukoutas said. “At the same time, they let government perform what it does best – release the compassion of the people to search for ways to create safe workplaces, protect the environment and help each other live long and health material and spiritual lives.”

The EQQL Index draws on data compiled and reported by the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, the Heritage Foundation, Yale and Columbia universities, The Wall Street Journal and other sources.

“With a few exceptions, the best countries combine and mix market and government institutions within 19th century-style liberal democracies,” the authors say in the EOQL Index report. “In them, a forum for the development and the enforcement of codified rules of the game is provided, allowing each institution to excel. … ‘Bad cocktail’ countries combine and mix market and government institutions within authoritarian regimes that, by definition, cannot provide for the development and enforcement of codified rules that allow each institution to excel.”

Media Contact:
Morgan Lyle
(516) 299-4177

Comments are closed.