Journal: News & Comment

Monday, March 11, 2002
# 8:48:00 PM:

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Let's compare

Earlier I pointed out some flaws with a list of "economically free" countries. Let's check that list against some others.

The world's top ten most livable cities are:
  1. Zurich
  2. Vienna and Vancouver - tie
  3. Sydney and Geneva - tie
  4. Frankfurt, Helsinki, Auckland, and Copenhagen - tie
  5. Bern
The world's top ten most livable countries are:
  1. Norway
  2. Australia
  3. Canada
  4. Sweden
  5. Belgium
  6. U.S.A.
  7. Iceland
  8. Netherlands
  9. Japan
  10. Finland
The world's top ten most economically free countries are:
  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. New Zealand
  4. Great Britain
  5. U.S.A.
  6. Australia
  7. Ireland
  8. Switzerland
  9. Luxembourg
  10. Netherlands

Notice that only three nations appear in both country lists: Australia, the U.S.A., and the Netherlands. So economic freedom and quality of life don't go hand in hand. Oddly, Switzerland has three municipalities in the "most livable cities" list, while it does not appear in the "most livable countries" list. So the precise criteria for ordering the lists (each of which is from a different source) are probably fairly arbitrary.


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