Newsweek magazine recently published a list of the best countries to live in. The list used 5 different criteria which were: education, health, quality of life, economic development and political environment.
Finland tops the list. Switzerland has place number 2 and Sweden has third place in the world's best countries to live in. Maybe we in Sweden should take a little more Koskenkorva, train more people in SFI and sit in saunas more to raise the quality of life?
Among our neighboring countries, Norway ranks 6th and Denmark ranks 10th. I have seen a similar list where Sweden ranked as the best country for women to live in which was largely due to the generous child leave.
We in Scandinavia can beat our chests and think we are good - but the reality of how other countries see us is as cruel as the voting in Eurovision Song Contest. We don't have the best song when the other countries outside of Scandinavia get to vote - even if we think so ourselves. Just as little, the Scandinavian countries are the best countries from a perspective outside of Sweden (also called exclusion 😉 ).
Newsweek magazine rummaged around the list from an American ethnocentric perspective with the subtitle why cold, small and depressing countries top such lists while the US was in 11th place. In the article, they lumped together Smorgasboard, Stieg Larsson and incest for Sweden. Switzerland got the scoop on hidden bank assets...But then they conclude that it is because the countries are peaceful and have avoided war.
But imagine if Newsweek had chosen other criteria in its survey such as: comfortable warmth for the human body outdoors and in water, samba parties and Carnivals, openness to foreigners, oxygen produced by trees (rainforest), results at the soccer World Cup, entrepreneurship and economic growth. Such a list should see Brazil win easily. Such a list would unfortunately place Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark in the absolute bottom swamp.