The World Economic Forum published its Global Competitiveness report 2014-2015.

Most countries are slowly starting to recover from the recent economic crisis but at a much slower pace than the recovery after the crisis in the eighties.

To define the ranking of the countries, 12 pillars of competitiveness are used, divided into 3 groups:

  • the basic requirements
  • efficiency enhancers
  • innovation factors.

The definition of the best country to live in obviously depends on one’s personal valuation of each factor. However, taking into account these 12 pillars, Switzerland has been on the first place for the last 6 years, closely followed by Singapore and the United States.

Although the US scores very well in areas like innovation and economic possibilities, the bad ranking for budget and state finance are bringing down the overall score. Here are some of the most interesting numbers:

  • The Quality of education is best in Switzerland and Finland, the US is on the 27th place
  • Salary relation to productivity is best in Hong Kong and Malaysia, US is number 10
  • Although the US scores the 2nd place on availability of latest technology, the use of ICT is only on the 20th
  • The absence of corruption is best in New Zealand and Qatar. The US are on the 34th place due to a bad score on bribary, lobbying and failing judicial independence
  • The performance of the Public sector is best in Qatar and Singapore, US is again on the 34th place
  • People feel most secure in Finland and Qatar. 67th place for the States indicate that the widespread possession of guns does not add to the feeling of security. A big part of the government budget goes to fighting organized crime and violence.
  • Ninth place for Transport infrastructure is not bad, but availability of electricity and telephone can be improved ( 26th place)
  • Really bad scores are for Governmental budget balance and government debts:160th and 140th
  • With a 35th place for health, there is still room for improvement. Best are Iceland and Japan.
  • Asian countries score best on life-expectancy: in Hong Kong and Japan the expected ages are 83.5 and 83.1. US citizens have to be satisfied with 78.7 years.