Switzerland best place to be born in; India a lowly 66th – Umesh Shanmugam

switzerlandThe tourist paradise of Switzerland has emerged as the best place to be born in 2013, in a new global survey that ranks India among the last 15 nations a baby should start a life in.

The violence hit oil-rich African nation of Nigeria was rated as the worst place to be born in in the survey of 80 states that saw Nordic countries like Norway (3), Sweden (4) and Denmark (5) notch the top slots, along with Australia which was ranked as the second best. Singapore, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong completed the top 10.

The survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence, a sister company of The Economist, used 11 statistically significant indicators, including geography, demography, social and cultural characteristics, public policy, the state of the world economy and future income per head to arrive at its rankings, a report in the Daily Mail said.

While none of the economically emerging BRIC countries scored impressively in the survey, India and Russia were by far the worst placed at the 66th and 72nd spot respectively. Brazil was ranked in the middle of the chart at 37, China was placed at 49, while South Africa was ranked 53.

The impacts of the economic crisis clearly visible, the survey also saw the crisis-ridden economic powerhouses of the Eurozone as well as the US and Britain lose their standings in the table.

As against a similar survey 25 years back when the US was ranked as the best place to be born in, the world’s only superpower is now ranked 16th, just ahead of the UAE and South Korea. Britain is ranked 27th, behind the likes of Taiwan (14), Kuwait (22) and Chile (23), well down the 7th place it achieved in 1988. France that was ranked second in 1988 dropped to 26th.

While the top ranked Switzerland, which jumped from the 13th place in 1988, scored 8.22 on a scale of 10, the last ranked Nigeria scored 4.74.

“There is surely a lot to be said for boring stability in today’s (and no doubt tomorrow’s) uncertain times,” the Economist magazine said branding the survey as ‘deadly serious’. The league table “earnestly attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead”, The Economist said.