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Quality of Life Around the World - 4/27/15

America is number one is many things, but not in terms of quality of life, at least according to the twenty fifteen Social Progress Index.  The Index was created as a way to rank societies based on how well they meet the needs of their citizens.  The United States ranks sixteenth in the world.  America ranks thirtieth in life expectancy and fifty fifth in women surviving childbirth. 

As reported in the New York Times, the U.S. also suffers higher traffic fatality rates than thirty seven other counties and a higher suicide rate than eighty of them.  The top five counties according to the twenty fifteen Social Progress Index are Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland and New Zealand.  In North America, the U.S. ranks second, behind sixth place Canada.  One interesting finding is that some nations are able to supply more benefits to their citizens than one would expect given their respective income levels. 

By that standard, the world’s biggest stars are Costa Rica and Uruguay.  Costa Rica offered free, university primary education as early as the nineteenth century.  During the twentieth century, it disbanded its military forces and invested some of the savings in education.  Some surveys find that Costa Ricans are among the happiest people on the planet.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.