Top Places In The World To Live

Although the sun is shining today, Wiarton Willie tells me that there will be 6 more weeks of this season before I can come out of hibernation.  I often wonder, at this time of year, why my parents settled in Canada instead of some more tropical environment.  What were they thinking?

International Living magazine is helping me to narrow down my choices for where I would choose to settle.

The retirement and relocation publication compared about 200 countries in nine categories including, cost of living, culture, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate.  They went to reputable international organizations such as the World Health Organization, and The Economist.  And they polled many other groups.

France scored at the best place in the world to live for the fourth year in a France flagrow.  It scored high marks across the categories, but its main appeal is the quality of its culture and leisure activities, says managing editor, Laura Sheridan.

France is a buyer’s market for anyone looking at overseas real estate.  Sheridan says, “Today, a euro is worth about $1.31US.  Six months ago, a 100,000–euro home for sale in France would have cost you $159,000.  Today, the same house would cost you $132,000.  That’s a 17% drop in six months.”

Here are International Living’s top 10 best places in the world to live and their overall scores out of a possible 100:

  1. France, 80
  2. Switzerland, 79
  3. United States, 78
  4. Luxembourg, 77
  5. Australia, 76
  6. Belgium, 75
  7. Italy, 74
  8. Germany, 73
  9. New Zealand, 72
  10. Denmark, 71

I hear the thermometer dipped below 40 degrees Celsius in Australia last week.  I could handle that.

(Source: International Living—1/15/09)