This comes in the backdrop of the rushed ousting of the country’s 43rd Chief Justice, increasing crime rate and the struggle by the middle class to make a living, in an economy where food inflation is skyrocketing and more shocks on the cards.
The study carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the sister company and the research arm of The Economist magazine, based on economic forecasts up to 2030, roughly implies the socio-economic conditions children born in 2013 will encounter with when reaching adulthood.
In an attempt to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead, Sri Lanka was ranked at number 63 in a list of 80 countries.
Based on the evaluation carried out on the study, The Washington Post opined, “You’re worse off being born in any of these three countries, according to the data, than you are just about anywhere else, including Sri Lanka, a poor hotbed of ethnic violence, oppressive Vietnam, or even Syria”.
‘The where to be born index 2013’ is a clear testimony to the always not clear correlation between wealth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and happiness of a country’s population because even if the world’s richest economies score highly in the ranking, they are not in the top category.
For instance the United States (US) and Germany, two of the world’s economic powerhouses, tied for 16th place while Japan ranks way down at 25th. Britain and France score even worse at 27 and 26 respectively. US were however the top most livable country in the same study carried out in 1988.
According to the online version of The Economist: “Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too”. The Economist could not have worded better in relation to Sri Lanka.
Small economies have grabbed the top 10 ranking while Switzerland topping the list followed by Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the only Asian country Singapore while Netherlands being the only Euro zone country to be featured.
According to The Economist, despite their economic dynamism, none of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) scored impressively. In fact, India was ranked at 66th position while Russia at 72.
Among the 80 countries covered, Nigeria comes last as the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013. (Dilina Kulathunga)