Human beings love to make lists. It helps us organise the information around us into manageable clusters. The quality of life index of countries has been undertaken by different organisations in recent years. In this piece, we look at the latest one, and see where India and Australia stack up on the global scale.
As it happens every year, the best quality of life index is out for the year 2016, which ranks countries of the world in terms of the quality of life they offer to their citizens. These days, the index has taken on another name: the ‘where to be born’ index, because it takes into account a forward looking element as well, and makes a prediction on which countries will continue to give their citizens a healthy and prosperous life into the future.
It takes into account eight different factors: purchasing power, safety, health care, consumer price index, property price to income ratio, traffic commute time, pollution and climate. A formula is then used to churn out the quality of life index for that particular country.
Here are a few things about the quality of life index that you probably do not know.
- Australia is ranked fifth on the list with a total quality of index score of 198.79, only 10 points shy of Switzerland at the top of the pile, with a score of 208.54. New Zealand, Australia’s neighbour, has a score of 201.06 and stands in third place.
- Indis is forty-third on the list of fifty-six entries, with a score of almost half of Australia’s, 109.28. Though India has a surprisingly good score with respect to health care, its high pollution rating and low climate rating are two reasons why the country appears so low on the list.
- According to a Mercer’s survey, the best city that offers good quality of life in India is Bangalore, with a worldwide ranking of 141 and nationwide ranking of 1. Though it has traffic problems and the pollution levels are on the rise, Bangalore’s moderate weather pips it to the post when compared to humid cities such as Mumbai and Chennai, and cities with extreme weather such as Delhi.
- When it comes to Australia, Sydney and Melbourne were ranked 1 and 2 respectively, with scores of 106 and 104 respectively. New Zealand’s Auckland has been ranked at the third position in the world when it comes to cities with the best quality of life.
- The top ten countries in the world with the highest quality of life are (in order): Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
However, an important thing to note is that these measures have all been taken by ‘objective’ standards, whereas all of us know that there are deep personal biases within people towards cities and countries in which they were born. It is said that home is where the heart is, so perhaps some future survey will also take into account this subjective measure. Until then, this will have to do.