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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Jane McIlroy via Shutterstock A rainbow over the Lakes of Killarney.
Quality of Life

How the best countries in the world have changed since 1988

Ireland isn’t doing too badly, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit…

THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE Unit recently published its “Where To Be Born in 2013″ list, a measure of which countries provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.

WOND, an infographics and data visualisation outfit based outside London, has put together a great repackaging of the data, which also included the list from 1988.

Needless to say, things have changed over the past 25 years. Ireland, however, is still hovering around the same section of the table as it did a quarter of a century ago. In 1988, it was ranked 15th – this year, it is ranked at number 12. Does that surprise you?

With their permission, we’re republishing the table here. (Check them out at

Here are the measures:

  • Material wellbeing as measured by GDP per head (at 2006 constant PPPS)
  • Life expectancy at birth
  • Quality of family life, based primarily on divorce rates; the state of political freedoms; job se­curity (measured by the unemployment rate)
  • Climate (measured by two variables: the average deviation of minimum and maximum monthly temperatures from 14 degrees Celsius; and the number of months in the year with less than 30mm rainfall)
  • Personal physical security ratings (based primarily on recorded homicide rates and ratings for risk from crime and terrorism)
  • Quality of community life (based on membership in so­cial organisations);
  • Governance (measured by ratings for corruption)
  • Gender equality (measured by the share of seats in parliament held by women)

Click here to see the infographic in full screen.

Published with permission from
Business Insider
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