look how the libs have brought us down

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    Australia rated 6th best country

    Australia is the 6th best country in the world to live in according to predictions released by the respected London-based Economist magazine.

    The top five are Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden.

    In their annual index of 111 countries, Economist editors gave Ireland top ranking in its "quality of life" index, while the world's most powerful nation, the United States, fell behind Finland to humble 13th place.

    Dublin's Government has managed to combine "the most desirable elements of the new" - the world's fourth-highest gross domestic product per capita, low unemployment and political freedoms with "old" values like stable family and community, they said.

    Britain may have high income per person but is also plagued by societal and family breakdown, forcing it into lowly 29th place, squeezed between Malta and South Korea.

    Down at the bottom, listed here from worst to not-as-awful among the 111 states, were Zimbabwe, Haiti, Nigeria, Russia and Pakistan.

    For "The World in 2005", the Economist used surveys to gauge "life satisfaction" as determined by nine major factors, most importantly income, but also health, freedom, unemployment, family relations, community life, climate, gender equality, political stability and security.

    The magazine used data from sources including the magazine's own Economist Intelligence Unit and the United Nations.

    "Family life" was judged by divorce rates, gender equality by comparative salaries for men and women and political freedom by an average of civil and political liberties.

    The editors responded to anticipated criticisms of its index, as many have rejected number-crunching surveys which purport to understand human happiness.

    The magazine can only try, they said, "on the basis of what people around the world themselves say about life satisfaction".

    "No doubt the critics will poke holes in this index too. Except, of course, in Ireland."

    - AFP

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