Australia & NZ rated in top 5 places to live

January 11, 2010

New Zealand is the fifth-best country to live in, according to an index run by magazine International Living. It ranks 194 countries which offer the best quality of life, considering cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate. This year, the survey raved about "pristine landscapes", the Auckland waterfront and Southern Alps - calling Godzone the type of place younger migrants could relocate to and raise a family. Positive, too, it said, are rebounding property prices. The magazine also sighted other reasons (from the Immigration New Zealand website) why the country deserves to be in the top 10. "In many ways it's not what we have that's important to our quality of life - it's what we don't have. We don't have high crime rates, our police don't carry guns and instances of corruption are virtually unheard of. We don't have abject poverty or hunger and we don't have the pollution, congestion, health issues and cramped city living that we see elsewhere." Australia improved from fifth overall in 2009 to second, on the back of the way its economy weathered the global financial crisis. Despite "it's tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes", France, for the fifth year running, was ranked first. Outweighing those factors were the world's best health-care system. The UK did not even make the top 10. TOP TEN1. France
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
4. Germany
5. New Zealand
6. Luxembourg
7. United States
8. Belgium
9. Canada
10. Italy