International Living published a few weeks ago its annual Quality of Life index, which I’m commenting here. France is the country with best quality of life (82 points/100), largely due to her excellent health system, low cost of living, infratsructure, economy, strong culture and freedom. Follow Australia (82), Switzerland, Germany, (everything works well, there!), New Zealand (81), Luxembourg (79), the US, Belgium, Canada (78) and Italy (77). All these first 10 countries have more or less the same characteristics. Italy has a low cost of living and the second highest health system after France. However, thanks to the Berlusconi regime, she got 92/100 in the freedom arena, just like the US. Ditto for her infrastructure, down to 62/100, a very low score, when compared to France (92) and the US (100).
Then, interestingly, Spain is 17th, but with a similar overall score, practically equal to Italy’s in terms of infrastructure and health system.
Where is Puerto Rico? 59 overall, 36 infrastructure, 72 health, 43 culture and 45 economy and 42 for the environment. We know these are the most pressing issues for the Island’s prosperity. Education (and culture), infrastructure, and the economy above all.
These stats are quite true, in my opinion. They show what is not usually evident from the purely economical data available. For instance, they show the truth about freedom issues and they show as well what happens beneath the surface of many countries who appear as rich or industrialized as their most advanced peers, but then reflect a lesser quality in their health or education system. These countries may well be paradises for investors, but not necessarily they are paradises for those deciding to live there.
Puerto Rico is such a place: splendid geography, beaches, mountains and climate. But the communications infrastructure is less than standard and expensive, as expensive as its education system. While nominally education is almost free for all, quality education is very expensive and impacts heavily a resident’s budget.
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- Why France is the best place to live in the world (cnn.com)
- Britain’s quality of life worse than former Communist countries (telegraph.co.uk)