Ireland ranked the World's best country - The Economist Global Survey

Below is an extract of a media article by Laza Kekic, Director, Country Forecasting Services, Economist Intelligence Unit. The entire article and images remain the copyright of The Economist and Reuters and respective copyright holders.

"The world�s best country
Laza Kekic
From The Economist - World in 2005 print edition

Why Irish eyes are smiling

Where will be the best place to live in 2005? The World in 2005 turned to the Economist Intelligence Unit, which has devised a 2005 �quality of life� index for 111 countries. Result: Ireland comfortably tops the league. America, though the second-richest country (behind Luxembourg) in GDP per head, slips to 13th in quality of life. Britain languishes in 29th place.

Ireland wins because it successfully combines the most desirable elements of the new (the fourth-highest GDP per head in the world in 2005, low unemployment, political liberties) with the preservation of certain cosy elements of the old, such as stable family and community life. Offsetting its poor climate and, by rich-country standards, gender inequality are a higher political stability and security. Even if GNP�not available for all countries, but in Ireland�s case significantly lower than GDP�is used to measure income, Ireland still wins.

Britain, by contrast, mixes high income per head with high levels of social and family breakdown; it comes bottom among the 15 countries of the pre-enlargement European Union. America ranks above the EU-15 average. Italy performs well but Germany and France do not�belying the notion that big euro-zone nations compensate for their economic sluggishness with a better quality of life than America.

China, for all the excitement over its development, still falls in the lower half of the league. Proud Russians will be disturbed to find themselves at the wrong end of the table. Bottom of the lot is Zimbabwe, where things have gone from bad to worse under Robert Mugabe."

Laza Kekic: director, country forecasting services, Economist Intelligence Unit
© The Economist 2005
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1. Republic of Ireland - Country Profile - From Wikipedia the world's leading free encylopedia. Provides a thorough overview about Ireland, it's history, politics, geography economy etc;

2. Ireland Government - Central Government website useful links, histories facts etc

3. Ireland Tourism Guide - useful guides for all parts of Ireland, useful for local profiles, events, features, etc

4. Ireland Climate - 30 Year Statistics from Weather stations around Ireland

5. West Cork Guide - Guide to West Cork and villages etc;

6. Ireland - Online Maps

7. AA Ireland Route Finder - Great for finding routes, distances etc

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