The 2010 Quality of Life Index, produced by International Living, ranks and rates 194 countries based on their quality of life. The index looks at nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate. For the fifth consecutive year, France tops the list.
The top 10 countries in the 2010 Quality of Life Index and some of the characteristics that contribute to their high ranking are:
- France: An unsurpassable quality of life, including the world’s best health care.
- Australia: Countrywide access to an active and healthy lifestyle. Urban dwellers enjoy plenty of great culture, excellent food, and a favorable cost of living.
- Switzerland: A super-efficient, high-tech society and alpine tourism.
- Germany: Theater, art, and classical music concerts. Average employee earnings of €41,509 ($61,433).
- New Zealand: Pristine landscapes and absence of high crime rates, abject poverty, pollution, congestion, health issues and cramped city living.
- Luxembourg: A financial center and tax haven, and a per capita GDP of $88,000.
- United States: Convenience of getting what you want, when you want it.
- Belgium: Expat friendly with everything from English-language cinema to international schools.
- Canada: High living and health care standards. Vast natural resources, robust financial industry, and innovative manufacturing.
- Italy: Grand historic cities, 60 percent of the world’s art treasures, and a WHO-acclaimed national health care system.