The worst place to live on this list is, unsurprisingly, the disaster-prone (both man-made and natural-made) country of Haiti. Neither Yemen nor Iraq fare much better than Haiti. The rest of the top ten worst list is filled out with African nations—again, unsurprisingly.
But it’s the best-places list that disappoints the red, white, and blue. Not one of author Regina Wang's "best places" are in the good ol' U. S. of A.
The "Best Quality of Living" list is:
- Vienna, Austria
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Munich, Germany
- Vancouver, Canada
- Dusseldorf, Germany
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Bern, Switzerland
What is the deal? Why does this list diss the United States? In fact, the USA doesn't even appear in the top 25 best places.
The first U.S. city doesn't appear on the full "best" list until the 28th spot (Honolulu, Hawaii). The other U.S. cities in the top 50 are San Francisco (29th), Boston (35th), Chicago (42nd), Washington, D.C. (43rd), New York City (44th-tied), Seattle (44th-tied), and Pittsburgh (49th).
Sadly, in this day and age, we find ourselves torn over a list like this. I mean, as bad as the age of Obama has gotten, perhaps we should not be surprised that we didn't make the top ten list.
On the other hand, this is TIME magazine we are talking about. We'd be hard pressed to imagine that any list reported upon by TIME would ever hold the U.S. in very high regard.
So, what are the criteria for this ranking, anyway? The list was compiled by the New York City-based consulting firm Mercer, and they claim that they measure the following ten categories:
- Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement)
- Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
- Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
- Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.)
- Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools)
- Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.)
- Recreation (restaurants, theaters, movie theaters, sports and leisure, etc.)
- Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.)
- Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
- Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters
Though some of these categories are awfully subjective—I mean, availability of theaters?—in the era of intrusive big government, with our destroyed Obama economy, and with the increasing big brother-ism indulged by our various governments, I can see why we are losing ground in measures of freedom.
In any case, it is maddening that the U.S.A. does not figure prominently on a list of the best places in the world to live.