Heaven on Earth?
Ever wondered where the best place on the planet to live is? Well, according to the United Nations, it's this scraggy island – Iceland. A report published at the end of last year suggested that according to life expectancy, education levels, and per capita income, the land of geysers showed us all up. Get ready to move.
Norway has held pole position for six years, but slipped in 2007, and the United States ranked 12th, slipping from 8th place. Iceland owes its jump into first place to new life expectancy rates and GDP figures.
The Icelandic Tourist Board claims the country's high life expectancy is due to environmental and social factors like pollution-free air and water and organic food. The island's lifestyle probably helps too. The most popular sport is swimming outside in thermal pools, breathing fresh air and soaking up the waters' curative properties. These pictures of the Blue Lagoon bathing area certainly look appealing.
Add to that a more gentle pace – Reykjavik has only 200,000 inhabitants and traffic jams are rare. Icelanders are also well educated, with 100% literacy levels. And they've also got culture in abundance, with art galleries and museums even in the smallest fishing villages.
Begs the question: where's the worst place to live? Sierra Leonians, cover your ears. You come in at number 177. RM
Images: NASA; Blue Lagoon