Quit your whining. You actually live in the (second) best place in the world

12 April 2013

It’s been a funny old week. Some people have declared the country unfit for purpose following the changes to benefits and the health service. Others have reminisced over Britain’s greatness since 1979 for a different reason. Either way, we now have proof that living in the UK is officially A Good Thing as a new index from the US puts the UK second only to Sweden in a table of the best places to live in the world.

Called the Social Progress Index, the new list ranks 50 leading countries by combining a range of figures, including things like health and health care, crime, and broadband access. According to the authors, Britain’s unique position, bridging  Europe and America, has made it one of the best places to live in the world overall, beating Germany and France, the US, Canada and Australia, all of whom feature in the top ten.

SPI top ten

Uganda, Nigeria and Ethiopia languish at the bottom of the table.

The index has been compiled by Harvard Professor Michael Porter and a team of economists at MIT, and is designed as an alternative to traditional economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The new index has three main areas of ranking- Basic Human Needs (blue), Foundations of Wellbeing (orange) and Opportunity (green), and is designed to be a more rounded and comprehensive social index.

While European countries with generous welfare systems score highly in more basic and wellbeing measures, they fare less well in the Opportunity category which combines personal freedoms with measures such as access to higher education. The US comes top of Opportunity, but scores lower than Costa Rica, Argentina and Poland on the Wellbeing measure. Despite spending the most on healthcare per capita of any country in the world the United States ranks just 11th  overall in terms of Health and Wellness, while conversely the UK is ranked top for this measure although per capita spend would put us only 11th.

The UK also comes fourth on a measure of “access to information and communications” behind Switzerland, Germany and Sweden but ahead of the Korea, France and the US.

Michael Green, executive director of the Social Progress Imperative, the think-tank behind new index, suggested the reason we did so well is because of our “mid-Atlantic” approach.

“If you think of Britain’s self image as straddling the best of Europe and the best of America that is what seems to be coming across in the data,” he told The Telegraph. However, he went on to say that Britain was not perfect, but the index highlighted areas that may need attention; things like availability of affordable housing, rising health risks like obesity and heart disease,  and access to Higher Education.

TOPICS:   UK News   Travel


  • W.Churchill
    Well seeing chewbacca lives in the UK.......otherwise we'd be #1
  • Zleet
    This is before changes come into effect. The current idiological attacks on the social safety net and attempts to privatise the few public services we have left will push the poor down to American levels, just with higher taxes and more expensive cost of living.
  • amazon s.
    Insert the usual "It's all Labours Fault" from the Condom supporters...oh wait.
  • chewbacca
    Loving the comments from the fan(nie)s... Hating a guy on the internets, serious business! This would be a top country if it wasn't for all the immigrants, and of course, all the fucking morons. You fucking morons.
  • Dick
    The only people voting it high are the bankers, mps, unemployed, and immigrants as they get plenty freebies.
  • noshit
    If you don't like it, fuck off.
  • Reasons c.
    "Hating a guy on the internets, serious business!" There is only one - you fucking moron
  • posted b.
    Internets? is that like the world wide webs?
  • chewbacca
    @Reasons to be cheerful Should you not go back to bed and shag your sister as per usual?
  • Wobbly V.
    The best place to live is the one with the most LSD muchachas!
  • chewbacca
    Wow, Someone stole my username and posted as me... (see post timed 6:57pm tonight). Strange thing is, that sort of behaviour is usually something like "I'm Chewie and I'm a wanker, hur hur etc", but this guy ACTUALLY tried to, you know, come out with stuff that I do. Although, it was a pretty piss poor imitation. The utter fucking moron.
  • chewbacca
  • Chewbacca's m.
    Woooo............! woooo!!!!
  • Ogre
    bugger - I appear to have stumbled onto some sort of juvenile YouTube comment site...
  • chewbaccca
    Interestingly, it's one of this site's "staff" who is pretending to be one of my multis. How do I know this? One of my "awaiting moderation" comments was posted under said multi (a new one), but the comment (as usual) was never published. Then a comment appears with my multi names, but with a different comment in place. tl;dr Either this site is broked, or someone's stealing multi ids. Or Every single comment is actually by me, and this whole site doesn't really exist except in my mind. You fucking morons.
  • Chewbacca's m.
    Talk to me about it son... go on Chewie get the Ouija board oot and lets have a wee blather sonny.
  • Steve
    Britain has a horrible culture and is a vile place to live most of the time. I've lived in 3 countries in the list and dread coming back to the UK. Everywhere looks cheap and tacky. Theres also an ugly poorly thought out of mix of old and new as brits refuse to let go of the past. Small cheaply built ugly houses unless you're rich and then you buy one of those cheaply built fake Georgian houses with a garage that you don't have to climb out of the sunroof of the car to get out. Then you have the council estate culture where things get even worse. Don't get me started on feral youth. Everywhere you go there are chavs and young single mums with no aspirations. High streets are either a mess or dead. Lack of investment in everything from broadband to public transport where the Netherlands and Belgium across the water have always put us to shame. Schools are like prisons, with the out of date uniform and cultural attitude. Half hearted education especially when it comes to language skills. Kids only go to uni for the social life, grow beards and don't really have a clue and end up in crap jobs, but notquite as crap as the jobs Labour told us we needed mass immigration to fill. How the hell is UK above Switzerland? where crime is close to Zero, they live in proper houses or sophisticated apartments. Peaceful streets, laid back towns and cities, high streets and shopping areas that are a pleasure to visit. Australia has similar cultural problems to the UK, influenced by American trash culture, OZ has slowly gone done hill but at least they have the weather, beaches and decent size houses.

What do you think?

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