There’s more to life than money, and economists know it. As new assessments of global living standards proliferate, attempting to gauge how healthy, happy and successful humans are depending on where they live, a pattern is slowly emerging.
While slight variations in data can throw up different winners, smaller countries are increasingly dominating the top of the lists while big countries with booming economies fall behind.
A new analysis, the Global Wellness Index published by investment firm LetterOne, ranks Canada as the best country out of the 151 nations evaluated. The U.S. trails far behind, coming in at 37. In a tighter ranking of G-20 nations combined with the 20 most populous countries on the planet, South Africa comes in dead last, below Ukraine, Egypt and Iraq.
Based on a basket of metrics ranging from government healthcare spending to rates of depression, alcohol use, smoking, happiness and exercise, the new index is the latest attempt by economists to evaluate the world beyond economic growth. Last month, Bloomberg’s own research named Spain the world’s healthiest country. [Continue reading…]