While Latvia’s economy is not much to boast about, the country still ranks pretty high in a list of the best places in the world to live, according to International Living magazine.
The Ireland-based publication, which according to its Web site reports on “the best places in the world to live, retire, travel, and invest,” ranked Latvia 40th out of 194 countries surveyed.
Both Lithuania, at 22nd, and Estonia, at 32rd, scored higher than Latvia.
The rankings are based on statistics garnered from a number of official sources and cover cost of living, leisure and culture, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, risk and safety, and climate. The editors of the magazine admitted to a Western bias in terms of what constitutes a high standard of living.
Topping the list was France.
“Its tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes are outweighed by an unsurpassable quality of life, including the world’s best health care,” the magazine’s editors said.
Australia was second and Switzerland third. The bottom three countries in the list were Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.
Latvia scored highest on the measure of freedom (92 out of a maximum possible score of 100), but lowest on its economy (40).
In last year’s index, Latvia was ranked 31st.
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