Where’s the best place to live?

Zurich: The best place to live? (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Zurich: The best place to live? (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The world today is a bit of mess. The Arab world has been through a series of revolutions and protests, the generally-stable European countries are suffering through a debt crisis that has sparked it’s own protests and here in South Africa we have moved from an extensive and drawn-out wave of strikes in the mining sector to the looming threat of more strikes on Western Cape farms. In all this uncertainty one is bound to ask, “Where is the best place to live?”

In 1988, when I was born, The Economist released a list of the best places to be born. South Africa came in at 40 with the top 5 consisting of the US, France, West Germany, Italy and Canada. That list has been updated for the coming 2013. South Africa has dropped to 53 and the new top 5 are Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Canada is the only one of the original top 5 to still be in the top 10, in 9th place.

Of course such figures are rather generalised. You won’t usually be living in the country as a whole but in just a single city. To see the best cities in the world we need to go to Mercer’s 2011 Quality of Living survey. Cape Town, at 88, is the highest ranked city on the mainland of Africa with Port Louis (Mauritius) coming six points ahead. The top five cities are Vienna (Austria), Zurich (Switzerland), Auckland (New Zealand), Munich (Germany) and a tie for fifth between Düsseldorf (Germany) and Vancouver (Canada).

This seems to confirm what I would have already guessed, as far as living in Africa goes I’m in about the best situation I can be. On the other hand the best possible place, according to these two rankings anyway, would be Zurich. Of course there are many other factors that come into play, such as language issues, places of education or best place to be for your business. Still these rankings are at least interest as a general guide and, if we know what are considered the best places to live, we can try to emulate those places.

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2 thoughts on “Where’s the best place to live?

  1. Interesting that three of the best countries to be born in 2013 are all so close and share very similar cultures and history- Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Scandinavia is in its Golden Era it seems!

  2. In finding the best place to live, one needs to really try out living at each of your possible choices. Although the internet offers information, even Google places and maps may provide a view of the location, it’s really different when you’re choosing based on actual living in the area.

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