Quality of Life Survey
NZ 4th best in world
Sunday February 04, 2007
New Zealand is a great place to live according to a quality-of-life study
New Zealand has been ranked the fourth best country in the world to live. Only the French, Dutch and Australians are in better spots, according to a new quality-of-life study.
The International Living travel website moved New Zealand one spot higher in its latest survey of 193 countries, saying our landscape, vibrant cities, environment, and healthcare and education were all top-notch.
France was named top in the world for the second year running, Australia was second and the Netherlands claimed third.
The United States completed the top-five list, but its efforts in trying to "liberate" Iraq have failed dismally. The war-torn Middle Eastern country was judged the worst place to live.
The study considered nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate.
Information from governments, the World Health Organisation and The Economist were used to gauge each country's success in areas such as economy, health and the cost of living.
New Zealand's natural landscapes are described in the study as "jaw-droppingly beautiful," but we are also praised for our "vibrant urban centres" of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Aside from the environment, we scored 90 per cent for affordable healthcare, and were given positive points for education, a low crime rate and great infrastructure.
The study also highlighted enticing real estate opportunities and we ranked 16th on the list of places people live the longest.
The downside to living in New Zealand or Australia, according to International Living, is that it is "increasingly difficult to obtain fulltime residency".
France was considered the top place to live because of its infrastructure, strong economy (it scored 89 points out of 100), low unemployment rate of 9 per cent and it lays claim to the best health system. Australia gained its high placing because of its attractive climate, a low cost of living and a strong economy.
All Black coach Graham Henry said many Kiwis didn't know how lucky they were.
"I just think we're very fortunate to live here. When you have travelled overseas a lot, as I have, you really value New Zealand and the lifestyle it provides. I think the scenery and our landscapes are just brilliant.
"I also think that in these times of terrorism the sense of isolation actually makes us feel very safe, whether you appreciate that or not.
"We recently had friends over from the UK who couldn't believe the friendliness of the people and the scenery that surrounds us every day.
"As for France being first on the list, I haven't visited enough of the country to make a comment but my experiences there have all been positive and I've enjoyed myself. But New Zealand really is a very special place and we should be proud of that."
A new MasterCard survey of Consumer Confidence has also revealed that Kiwis are feeling optimistic on quality of life, with a rise of 10 points in the last six months.
New Zealand Herald
Quality of Life Survey
Shop Perfume Emporium and save up to 70% off on over 7,000 designer fragrances.