Norway ranked as best country to live in

Nov 9th, 2006, 10:21 PM
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Norway ranked as best country to live in

Hi

The UN released its Human Development Index 2006 the other day and the list ranks 177 countries by achievements in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income (see http://hdr.undp.org/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index )

For the sixth consecutive year, Norway is ranked as the best country to live in. And I think that most Norwegian appriciate this fact. When the report was released one of the ministers in Norway commented this on TV by saying that Norwegians have to stop complaining. And I agree...even if we are one of the richest countries in the world we still like to complain about price of cars, price of gas, taxes etc. Norway is in no way a perfect place and there are still issues that needs to be adressed. But if you compare Norway to many, many other countries it shows that we have no reason to complain..,.we should just be greatful that we are born here

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Nov 9th, 2006, 11:09 PM
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Sounds as if you should be sending this post to all those people who are complaining so much.
Dukey is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 02:45 AM
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All my grandparents immigrated from Norway to the US. Had they stayed, I would be sharing your good fortune. But would they have met each other in Norway? ;-)
Heimdall is online now  
Nov 10th, 2006, 02:49 AM
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The problem with "best" is that there is no way to objectively measure happiness, which should be the most meaningful criterium, rather than financial data.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 10th, 2006, 04:22 AM
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There is a LOT to complain about. For example, in today's Aftenposten, there is an article about identity theft and the police NOT doing anything about it, even though they have the names and addresses of the perpetrators. (That is, they know who committed the crime and they know where to find these people and they have the evidence - and they just drop the cases and say "tough sh*it" to the victims.) Violent crime and rape are not taken seriously either, and crime is worsening in general.

And the pathetic excuse given by politicians? "Well, at least we're not such-and-such-bottom-of-the-list country." Is that a proper excuse to let criminals get away with what they do?
PrincessOfPenguins is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 04:28 AM
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We loved Norway when we visited this past summer. We look forward to returning.
padams421 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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The HDI doesn't even pretend to measure "the best country to live in.

It measures income, life expectancy, literacy and the proportion of the population receiving different levels of education. And that's it.

Says nothing about crime, what books are available if you can read, how good local tertiary education might be, whether there's anything decent on telly, at the local opera house, or down the local pub.

Or even whether the country concerned runs to opera houses or pubs you'd want to spend any time in.
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Nov 10th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Very true, flanneruk. With all the Brits moving to France, Spain, and Australia, and all the Norwegians I see every time I go to Greece, where is the best place to live?
Heimdall is online now  
Nov 10th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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And does the study study suicide rates? I've heard, maybe wrongly, that Scandinavian suicide rates are amongst the highest in the world. Gard: is this true or not - seems that the world's best country should also have the lowest rates of alcoholism and suicide. Maybe it does?
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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The WHO web site gives suicide rates:

Norway is one of the highest in the world - guess that comes with being the best country to 'live' (but not die) in.

The U.K. rates are about half of Norway (but all the potential suicides may be living as ex-pats in Europe), ditto for Italy and Spain and Netherlands

Portugal and Greece have the lowest rates in Europe - picking up a trend here - the richer the more suicides?

But in fairness Norwegian rates are lower than Germany, France and Belgium and Swiss.

Yes, i agree with flanner- the means of determining this don't really mean anything in terms of happiness - the ultimate rating i think that should count.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Check out the suicide rates in Eastern Europe. If I remember correctly, it was highest in Hungary. Or maybe it was Russia.

Also - remember that suicide rates are statistics for successful suicides. Maybe the Brits are better at saving people who try to top themselves?

Portugal is Catholic and Greece is also very religous conservative when it comes to suicide and that is a factor...
PrincessOfPenguins is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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About the rates - the countries with the very lowest were the very very poorest - it could be cultural or religious, or it could be that material goods have no or even an inverse relation to suicides, which in turn may or may not be a good index to happiness.

Anyway i've always found Norway to be very boring and wonder how young folks there have any fun - alcohol is impossible to buy after 5pm and on weekends it seems - maybe this is why it's the best country to live in by the way, with rules like this- but cafes are so expensive - i don;t see how young student types can afford nightlife at all. Just not many casual cafes it seemed, unlike more Bohemian southern Europe. just my impression.
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Nov 10th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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I've been to the southern half of Norway a few times and didn't mind it there but I wouldn't like to live there. Not best but most boring, I think. Because of harsh winters, they largely have an indoor society and Oslo midday was a mostly deserted capital. Small towns were often the same.
kaneda is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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When I first read Gard's post touting the wonderful Norway, the very FIRST thing I thought of, was, but what about the suicide rates in this country? Norway consistently ranks as one of the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world!

I see that topic was covered.

Great country to visit, but uh, a little lacking in the quality of life department, as far as I'm concerned.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Kanada-I just read your post, yeah, I second that!
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Nov 10th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Maybe you could include the amount of winter sunlight as another factor in suicide rates. Portugal and Greece are becoming more prosperous since joining the EU - is the suicide rate increasing? What hasn't changed, though, is the weather. Scandinavia and the Eastern European countries mentioned by POP have long, harsh winters, while Portugal and Greece are relatively mild.
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Nov 10th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Yes, I remember reading something not long ago about the lack of sunlight in the long winters leading to depression -> suicide.
unaS is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Right - just googled it. They call it "Seasonal Affective Disorder"
unaS is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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According to the WHO rankings above the Alps only The Netherlands and the UK have rates like in southern Europe - Holland of course has virtually legalized marijuna - i'm not saying that's a factor but is typical of an easy-going society perhaps - i can't quite the heck think why UK rate is so low but it is - long dark winter days could be to blame but i think a tightly controlled society like in Norway - think they recently banned some films that were shown everywhere else - and their strict alcohol laws are typical probably of Big Brother breathing down necks in general could explain why many of us consider Norway to be one of the least best countries in which to live it seems.
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Nov 10th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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palenquebob, I googled the WHO website http://tinyurl.com/2z7ln (not sure if it was the same as yours), and what struck me was the high suicide rates in former USSR countries. Norway was lower than both New Zealand and Australia, while Ireland was nearly as high as Norway. This is a complex subject, and there aren't any simple answers here.
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