Ireland, eh. We all know it's great. Americans, they know it's great, which is why they like to come here all the time and tell us in person then leave again. Now, we've even got it rubber stamped for us, as a new study has named Ireland as the second best place in the world for quality of life.
It's not some Mickey Mouse deal, either: it's the UN that's saying it. The United Human Development Report for 2020 has listed the best places in the world to list and we're only behind Norway on it. And to be honest, while I'm sure Norway has a great healthcare system and they all get on grand with each other, it's bloody freezing there and that's a hard no. Rain > Snow every single day of the week. So really, we're number 1.
We've got the 15th best life expectancy, the 8th best schools, the 5th best income per person and of course, the number one for craic. OK, the UN doesn't actually measure one of those metrics but we all know in our hearts that we'd be top. Pile all the metrics together and we come out second worldwide.
Trailing in our wake were Switzerland in third place, Hong Kong in fourth, Iceland in fifth and Germany in sixth. You'll be happy to know that the Brits didn't even make the top ten, placing a lowly thirteenth, while the Americans were even worse, coming in at number 17. Turns out that having every have guns and zero social safety net makes for better films, but also makes large swathes of the country absolutely rotten to live in. See also: racial injustice, picking a TV star for your leader, pretending you're world champions of sports that only you compete in.
Even better for Ireland is that we didn't always used to be that great. If you've seen The Commitments ("we're a third world country - what can you do?") you'll know that things were pretty tough quite recently - in fact, the study revealed that Ireland's score on the Human Development Index has risen by 23.5% since 1990, making us one of the most improved nations too.
There is but one world left to conquer: Norway, we're coming for you. Grab all the pickled herring you can, take a hard swig of Akvavit and pin your Viking helmet back. We're on the Human Development Index march.
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