Quality of Life Index 2010 by International Living

Please see read the 2010 quality of life index by country


I’m most astounded that South Africa scores higher than Taiwan in “Risk and Safety”. :astonished:

I am most surprised that in Leisure&Culture category Taiwan only scores 47 while Japan scores 92, what a big difference!

Where the Numbers Come From

To calculate the final scores in this year’s Quality of Life Index, we weight each category according to the percentages given below.

Cost of Living (15% of the final ranking). This is a guide to how much it will cost you to live in a style comparable to—or better than—the standard of living you’re likely enjoying in the U.S. Our primary source in this category is the U.S. State Department’s Index of Overseas Living Costs, used to compute cost-of-living allowances for a Western-style of living in various countries. We also consider each country’s income tax rates and national debt.

Culture and Leisure (10%). To calculate this score, we look at literacy rate, newspaper circulation, primary and secondary school enrollment ratios, number of people per museum, and a subjective rating of the variety of cultural and recreational offerings.

Economy (15%). We consider interest rates, GDP, GDP growth rate, GDP per capita, the inflation rate, and GNP per capita to determine each country’s Economy score.

Environment (10%). To figure a country’s score in this category, we look at population density per square kilometer, population growth rate, greenhouse emissions per capita, and the percentage of total land that is protected.

Freedom (10%). Freedom House’s survey is the main source for these scores, with an emphasis on a citizen’s political rights and civil liberties.

Health (10%). In this category, we look at calorie consumption as a percentage of daily requirements, the number of people per doctor, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, the percentage of the population with access to safe water, the infant mortality rate, life expectancy, and public health expenditure as a percentage of a country’s GDP.

Infrastructure (10%). To calculate a country’s Infrastructure score, we look at the length of railways, paved highways, and navigable waterways in each country, and equated these things to each country’s population and size. We also consider the number of airports, motor vehicles, telephones, Internet service providers, and cell phones per capita.

Safety and Risk (10%). For this category, we use the U.S. Department of State’s hardship differentials and danger allowances, which are based on extraordinarily difficult, notably unhealthy, or dangerous living conditions.

Climate (10%). When deciding on a score for each country’s climate, we look at its average annual rainfall and average temperature…and consider its risk for natural disasters.

Not much happening in Taipei, in terms of leisure facilities, if you compare it to a lot of places. Surprised at the environment score, which was higher than Britain’s. I guess they take the good rubbish collection and recycling into account, and the improvements due to MRT investment, over the general trafic and industrial goo? Good to see, anyway.

Culture and Leisure? :ponder:

Culture and Leisure? :ponder:[/quote]
The National Palace Museum and hot pots. Duh! :beatnik:

Culture and Leisure? :ponder:[/quote]
The National Palace Museum and hot pots. Duh! :beatnik:[/quote]

and shrimp fishing

Liberia is way better than Gabon. This table is full of it. How can they put Gabon above Liberia? :noway:

I think it is based on expat living , some of which will be in compounds with lots of security.
A lot of it looks a bit off to me, but then, maybe I am biased in some ways. Maybe.

“Environment (10%). To figure a country’s score in this category, we look at population density per square kilometer, population growth rate, greenhouse emissions per capita, and the percentage of total land that is protected.”

They gave Taiwan a 75 rating for environment - a country which ranks in the top 5 in terms of population density, and with its huge scooter usage and proximity to China has a pretty nasty greenhouse emissions situation. Calculating this per-capita helps Taiwan statistically I suppose but I think it would be more prudent to calculate this in terms of total land mass rather than per capita, as they purport be judging the environment’s quality of life factor, not the environmental footprint of it’s people.

The USA scores a 62 (no doubt for massive energy use per capita) and most European countries mid seventies. I call BS.

[quote=“kage”]I think it is based on expat living , some of which will be in compounds with lots of security.
A lot of it looks a bit off to me, but then, maybe I am biased in some ways. Maybe.[/quote]
Yeah, but in their info page they admit to being biased, also…

This table is mostly a crock of sh!t. I can understand most of the countries in their top twenty, although I’m not convinced Uruguay deserves to be there. The bottom of the table looks about right, especially regarding Somalia. However, I’m surprised Zimbabwe didn’t score lower and Angola really should be much higher. Currently Angola is one of the better countries in Africa and certainly so for Southern Africa. The civil war is long over, development is up, as is foreign investment and opportunities abound. And to have countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, Namibia and Botswana rated lower than South Africa is laughable. Sure, South Africa is beautiful, which is all good if you don’t mind living in constant fear of being murdered for your cell phone and watching your wife raped by five men in front of you before they pour flammable liquids on you and set you alight. Also, the cost of living in SA is exorbitant in comparison to Taiwan and Botswana and the housing market is insane, unless you don’t mind living in a township.
The economy isn’t much better, with conservative estimates having 25% of the population as unemployed.

If it was better than Taiwan I would’ve buggered off home long ago with my family. And sure, some things are better than here. I want to say public spaces (apart from the natural beauty of the country I’m actually hard pressed to think of how it actually is better), but I wouldn’t dare walk the streets in any major city with my wife and child after dark, and any beach after sunset is begging for trouble.
I’m not even sure the schools and universities are better than here anymore. Which, ironically, will only make things worse in the long run.

If I had to leave Taiwan and go back to Africa I would much rather live in Botswana or Namibia.

As a Saffa expat I find this interesting:
SA beats Taiwan overall by 2 points. :roflmao:

SA beats Taiwan in cost of living by 9 points. :ponder: Ok, for NT$5 mil in Taiwan you get a comparatively cramped apartment or three storey house (depending on where you live - in Pingdong county you could get something very very nice with a garden for that), whereas in SA you might be able to pick up a decent house with garden (grass, trees, maybe even a swimming pool, depending on city, town or area). Food? Not convinced SA is cheaper. Cigarettes? SA is way more expensive. Liquor? SA is way more expensive, and you can’t buy cheap beer at convenience stores 247. Eating out? SA is way more expensive. Besides property, I really don’t see it, and even there you’re screwed because with the added benefits you get a lot more problems in terms of crime, safety and security. Not to mention much higher taxes.

SA beats Taiwan by 13 points in leisure and culture. Hmmm… :ponder: Again, not convinced. Sure superficially it seems that way when you just look at what SA has to offer without taking random violent crime, assault, rape, murder and robbery into account. But sure, availability of such things without taking the negative into account (going to sports events, taking part in activities, attending cultural functions like plays, the opera etc), I can see how SA comes out ahead there.

Taiwan beats SA by 13 points in economy. Honestly, I’m shocked the difference isn’t much larger in favour of Taiwan. Besides the fact that Taiwan’s economy is almost twice the size of that of SA, it’s just much easier to do something here, whether it’s starting a school, selling food or opening a bar. In Taiwan, it’s relatively simple and easy and comparatively inexpensive to start your own venture, whereas in SA there is so much red tape, hassles and permits to be gotten that you’re better off not taking the chance.

Equal score on environment. I’ll agree there. Where SA wins in terms of the actual environment, Taiwan probably balances the scales due to:
a. Taiwan’s natural beauty once you get out of the city and into the mountains, and
b. safety and security issues.
On second thought, Taiwan should actually come out on top here, also.

Taiwan beats SA by 9 points in freedom. Well, in SA you’re pretty free. No more or less than here. That said, the ANC gvt is the new NP government of old. Where the NP ruled with an iron fist for 48 verkrampte years, I can’t see the ANC losing an election any time soon. You are free to speak your mind and criticise the gvt, though.

In health Taiwan beats SA by 11 points. :roflmao: Completely laughable. You have great health care in SA. If you can afford it. Most (even normal folks like us) can’t. So you’re stuck with gvt hospitals where you wait for hours, if not all day to see a doctor. If you’re lucky. If they can even help you when you do see them.
And let’s not forget how under staffed, filthy and generally crappy the gvt hospitals are.
Private clinics are great, though. As good as anywhere in the world.

Taiwan beats SA by 7 points in infrastructure. :roflmao: What a laugh. SA has energy shortages. Power sharing (for electricity), more than half the people in the country don’t have running water, paved roads or street lights in their neighbourhoods or access to clean drinking water. Public transport is an absolute joke. In fact, unless you have your own vehicle you’re pretty much screwed. Trains are filthy and unreliable. The list goes on…

SA beats Taiwan by 7 points in Risk&Safety. :roflmao: FFS! :wall: In SA if you go walking on a beach or in a park at night this will happen 99.9 times out of a hundred:
a. As a woman, you will be raped. Possibly murdered.
b. As a man, you will be robbed, possibly raped (no kidding) and probably murdered.
c. As a couple, the woman will be raped and you will be forced to watch. You will be robbed of anything of value and possibly, quite probably murdered.
Murders (per capita) (most recent) by country
Crime Expo - Somewhat positive
South Africa - World crime capital?
South Africa’s Rape Crisis: 1 in 4 Men Say They’ve Done It
Some google results on violent crime in SA
Not to be overly pessimistic or anything, but just to illustrate how laughable it is to even suggest that SA is any any way or form safer than Taiwan. Or pretty much anywhere other than Colombia…

SA beats Taiwan by 30 points on climate. :loco: The Natal area is pretty much the same as here, except it doesn’t have typhoons. You could get cholera, though, but that not climate related, I guess. The north and north east is hotter and drier than Taiwan, but the winters are longer and colder. The central part of the country is drier and hotter in the summer with good rainfall, and much colder for much longer. The northern Cape area is semi desert. The western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with cold wet winters (not to mention windy!) and hot dry summers (where the bloody place basically burns down every year). Very subjective, but it certainly doesn’t warrant a 30 point “victory”.
But I’m guessing that with creative accounting in terms of security and the subjective nature of “climate” they had to find some way for SA to beat down other countries like Taiwan, even if only by 2 points overall.

IMVHO if SA is the standard by which to measure Taiwan, I would give Taiwan the following points (SA score as on the table in parentheses):
Cost of Living 80 (59)
Leisure & Culture 70* (60)
Economy 85** (45)
Environment 80 (75) - Taking into account enjoyment of the environment based on safety and security issues…
Freedom 92 (83) - Left that unchanged…
Health 70 (57)
Infrastructure 70 (44)
Risk & Safety 100 (86) - If SA can score an 86 there, then surely Taiwan gets a perfect score…
Climate 98 (98) - This is subjective, so I give them both the same.
Final Score 79 (66)

Which would equal New Zealand’s score of 79. However, I would rate NZ higher than Taiwan, so they obviously rated SA way too high on my reckoning. But as they themselves admit:

[quote]We Admit It—We’re Biased
For the record, [color=#FF0000]we’re biased[/color]. For every category, we had to make decisions. And, when the numbers our research returned seemed incredible to us…we favored our own experience over published government statistics.
[color=#FF0000]Our sources, staff, and contributing editors are all influenced by a Western bias. We have definite, preconceived ideas about what constitutes a high or low standard of living, what constitutes culture and entertainment, and what climate is the most enjoyable.[/color] We also consider the world from the point of view of the majority of our readers—Americans spending U.S. dollars.
Please also remember that statistics obtained from official government sources are not always current, accurate, or reliable. And some statistics are highly subjective. What someone else might consider a museum, you might think of as a garden shed.
Other statistics may be estimated, outdated, or incorrect for any number of reasons. Since the statistics we gathered don’t always reflect our own experiences, [color=#FF0000]we sometimes interject a subjective factor to make the numbers better reflect reality.[/color] [/quote]
So, from my subjective point of view, I think my calculation of Taiwan is much more accurate than theirs…

[quote]Culture and Leisure (10%). To calculate this score, we look at [color=#FF0000]literacy rate, newspaper circulation, primary and secondary school enrollment ratios[/color], number of people per museum, and a subjective rating of the variety of cultural and recreational offerings. [/quote]
SA literacy rate is an estimated 86% which I think is highly optimistic. Taiwan’s literacy rate is an estimated 96%.

[**]Taiwan has almost double the GDP and triple the GDP per capita of SA, with a 6% unemployment rate vs 25% unemployment rate of SA (and 50% of the population below the poverty line), and a -0.7% inflation rate vs SAs 7+% inflation rate…

Well, the climate thing is weird. No-one would argue that February in the UK is fun, the site goes on o explain that it’s about stuff like natural disasters, etc… The Yook, in that sense, is much safer than Taiwan, unless you go jogging up Snowdonia in Speedos.

Great post, Mr Bismarck! :bravo: You hit the nail on the head.

Utter tosh! Simply a daft wee list compiled by bored flunkeys with not enough to do and obviously little idea of what it is they’re writing about. And its for Yanks. Who really gives a flying fuck what THEY think? “No Walmart? No Denny’s? And how come most of the people don’t weight more than 300 pounds? Jeez Looeez, this place really is a dump!” :unamused:

There was a time when US companies considered Taiwan as a ‘hardhip posting’ and their engineers were compensated accordingly.

Their samples must be a mess.
Edit: There are no samples; they got the information from the web.

Bear in mind that the people that report on these things have an interest in a low quality of life rating in their country or region so that they get higher expenses and housing allowances, etc.