Switzerland is the best country in which to be born in 2013, but Israel ranks surprisingly highly, coming in above many European countries in 20th place, according to a new study of some 90 countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The study, which aimed to measure the opportunities in each country for citizens born in 2013, took into account 11 statistically significant indicators, including: per capita gross domestic product, life expectancy at birth, the state of political freedoms, faith in government, unemployment and crime rates, divorce rates, gender equality and climate. It analyzed the expected incomes of individuals in the year 2030.
The results indicated that it was the small economies which showed the most potential, and also that while five of the top 10 countries were European, the Netherlands was the only one to belong to the eurozone.
Switzerland won first place, followed, in order, by Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada and Hong Kong. The U.S. tied with Germany in 16th place, considered an upset, especially as the U.S. won first place back in 1988.
Israel came in at No. 20, just behind South Korea, and ahead of Italy (21), France (26), Britain (27) and the Czech Republic and Spain (tied in 28th place). The only Middle Eastern nation to pass Israel was the United Arab Emirates, which came in 18th. Ranked significantly below Israel were Turkey (51), Iran (58), Egypt (60), and Syria (73).
Also ranked low on the scale were the four developing economic giants Brazil (37), China (49), India (66) and Russia (72). The lowest-ranked country was Nigeria.