Bhutan is best place to live in the region

Published on Jan 10 2010 // Main News

January 10, 2009: Bhutan has been ranked the top among South Asian countries to live, leaving behind nations like Russia, India, United States and China, according to a latest survey.

According to the 2010 Quality of Life Index, published by travel magazine International Living, Bhutan ranks 75th good country for living out of 194 countries surveyed.

Bhutan progressed by 11 places, up from its 86th position during lat year’s survey. In the sub-continent, Bangladesh has been ranked 145, India 88, Pakistan 178, Afghanistan 190, Maldives 100, Nepal 127 and Sri Lanka 121.

Bhutan’s overall score is 61 with 80 for cost of living, 28 for leisure and culture, 58 for economy, 83 for environment, 42 for freedom, 27 for health, 40 for infrastructure, 100 for risk and safety and 79 for climate.

Overall, France topped the poll for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Australia, Switzerland, and Germany. The US lost four positions to end at seventh. Somalia has been ranked the worst country followed by Yemen, Sudan and Chad.

Sweden has been dubbed as the costliest country in the world to live by the index.

The index, published for the 30th year, ranks 194 nations in nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate.

According to the surveyors, following aspects were taken into consideration to rank the 194 countries in Quality of Life Index:

Cost of Living (15% of the final ranking): This is a guide to how much it will cost you to live in a style comparable to—or better than—the standard of living you’re likely enjoying in the U.S. Our primary source in this category is the U.S. State Department’s Index of Overseas Living Costs, used to compute cost-of-living allowances for a Western-style of living in various countries. We also consider each country’s income tax rates.

Culture and Leisure (10%): To calculate this score, we look at literacy rate, newspaper circulation per 1,000 people, primary and secondary school enrollment ratios, number of people per museum, and a subjective rating of the variety of cultural and recreational offerings.

Economy (15%): We consider interest rates, GDP, GDP growth rate, GDP per capita, the inflation rate, and GNP per capita to determine each country’s Economy score.

Environment (10%): To figure a country’s score in this category, we look at population density per square kilometer, population growth rate, greenhouse emissions per capita, and the percentage of total land that is protected.

Freedom (10%): Freedom House’s 2009 survey is the main source for these scores, with an emphasis on a citizen’s political rights and civil liberties.

Health (10%): In this category, we look at calorie consumption as a percentage of daily requirements, the number of people per doctor, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, the percentage of the population with access to safe water, the infant mortality rate, life expectancy, and public health expenditure as a percentage of a country’s GDP.

Infrastructure (10%): To calculate a country’s Infrastructure score, we look at the length of railways, paved highways, and navigable waterways in each country, and equated these things to each country’s population and size. We also consider the number of airports, motor vehicles , telephones, Internet service providers, and cell phones per capita.

Safety and Risk (10%): For this category, we use the U.S. Department of State’s hardship Differentials and danger allowances, which are based on extraordinarily difficult, notably unhealthy, or dangerous living conditions.

Climate (10%): When deciding on a score for each country’s climate, we look at its average annual rainfall and average temperature…and consider its risk for natural disasters.