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Where to be born in 2013

Updated on December 16, 2012

With the constant quality of life reports and lists of the ‘most livable cities’ been fed to us every year, The Economist has used their extensive know-how to compile a list of the best countries to be born in during 2013. Taking into consideration the economic forecasts for the year 2030, when 2013 babies will reach adulthood, amongst other fixed factors like climate and geography, the list has certainly stirred up many debatable outcomes.

Singapore offers its residents plenty of activity both day and night.
Singapore offers its residents plenty of activity both day and night.


Six Asian countries make the top 20, and Singapore leads the way coming in highly at 6th place head of Hong Kong (10th), Taiwan (14th), and the UAE, South Korea, and Israel (18th, 19th, and 20th respectively).

Singapore is amongst the smallest countries on earth and its land mass is just 1/5th the size of Rhode Island, the smallest US state.

In a country where possession of chewing gum was once against the law – they now allow only chewing gum of therapeutic value to be sold in pharmacies or dental practices – Singapore is one of the world’s cleanest and law abiding nations. Laws are strict, however the small population thrives, being the most prosperous country in Asia and having average salaries consistently in the world’s top 5 for the past few years, with continued growth.

The Canadian city of Vancouver regularly ranks as one of the worlds best cities to live.
The Canadian city of Vancouver regularly ranks as one of the worlds best cities to live.

North America

Canada is North America’s highest placed country, coming in at 9th place just ahead of Hong Kong while the USA ranks fairly high, tying in at 16th place with Germany. Canada’s economy however, is one of the world’s safest, with oil and logging expected to remain strong for some time.

Having one of the world’s longest coastlines keeps the nation in touch with the biggest seafood industries along with a strong, well educated workforce which is led by the service industry. Quality of life in the great white north will remain strong for some time.

Santiago's financial district.
Santiago's financial district.

South America

In Latin America, Chile continues to be the shining light, coming in at 23rd place and ranking higher than France, the UK, Japan, and Spain. With one of the world’s steadiest economies, Chile’s upper-middle class continues to grow, being well educated and with a high literacy rate, however it’s not for everyone. The divide between the rich and poor is still huge, and the education system also remains a sore point.

There are an astonishing 22 universities in Santiago alone, and 17 of those are private with average costs out of reach for the country's lower class. However with a good education, the quality of life in Chile will justify its place above Europe’s big hitters as experienced by a good proportion of the country.

Elsewhere, neighbouring Argentina comes in at number 40, with Colombia climbing to well-respected 42nd place given their past troubles.

Pilatus looming over Lake Lucerne in scenic Switzerland
Pilatus looming over Lake Lucerne in scenic Switzerland

Europe and Australasia

Australia and New Zealand both predictably make the top 10, however it looks like Europe will continue to dominate in the quality of living stakes, with 10 countries from the old continent making the top 16. Switzerland tops the list, while consistently strong Scandinavia gains three top five places in Norway (3rd), Sweden (4th), and Denmark (5th). Neighbouring Finland ranks in at 11th place.

The Economist's 'Where to be born in 2013' list.
The Economist's 'Where to be born in 2013' list.

While there are many arguable points to these findings, it seems that Europe remains the place to be – or to be born - followed closely by Australasia. It is however the emerging markets and rising quality of life in Asia and South America which also draw attention and excitement.

To the right you will find the complete list of the best places to be born in 2013.


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