[quote=“Mother Theresa”]The Economist just came out with their annual livability rankings of 100-odd countries based on factors such as $, health, political stability, divorce rate, climate, job security, etc.
Taiwan came in at #21.
The top countries in order were Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Luxemburg (by far the world leader in GDP per person), Sweden and Australia.
US was listed at #13 (It dropped 11 places since the last ranking and it’ll drop a few more after 4 more years of Bush )
Japan and Hong Kong ranked #17 and 18. UK came in at #29.
They didn’t include Iraq, but in last place were Nigeria, Tanzania, Haiti and Zimbabwe.
I hear Chechnia is quite nice this time of year.
[quote=“Gubo”]There’s no denying Ireland is a gorgeous country which is extremely relaxed (outside the political and religious tensions).
Agree with the main thrust of your post! But can you tell me what major political and religious tensions there are in the Republic of Ireland (which is ‘Ireland’ for the purpose of the Economist’s ratings)?
To say that it was boringly homogenous until recently is fair enough. But ‘political and religious tensions’?
Well, obviously, I’m thinking more in terms of Northern Ireland, where I felt extremely palpable tensions while walking through Belfast, Derby, and elsewhere. I could tell stories…
But “the troubles” do not end at the ‘border’ between the North and South. Fortunately, the last few years have seen relative calm. I hope this trend continues. Ireland is an awesome country, and it deserves a lasting peace and a place on a list of desirable countries.
There’s almost no political or religious tensions in Ireland (Republic). There’s plenty of crime to keep everybody busy though.
Also Ireland is more youthful and dynamic compared to most european countries, so it cannot be compared to many other countries in northern europe or switzerland. I have lived in Sweden and was practically paralysed with the boredom. I had several severe booze shocks… the worst was missing the 6pm cutoff on friday for take out beer and wine several times from the state owned off licence, System Bolaget.
The youthfulness of Ireland may be one of the reasons it got to the top of the list. I wouldn’t say it is as relaxed as people think, Dublin is a very busy city. In fact for me it has changed incredibly over the last 5-10 years.
I am very proud we got on the top of the list and while I may have plenty of gripes with some of attitudes there I can tell you it’s a like a miracle after growing up in the 1980s. This is a tribute to the new generation who focused on the economy and good governance. There’s nothing like economic success to shove it in the faces of other nearby countries who used to look down at us.