Magazine: Despite economy, Latvia still ranks well in living standards

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.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

2 thoughts on “Magazine: Despite economy, Latvia still ranks well in living standards

  1. Latvia’s Health Care being top notch in the above comment off a French study must have encompassed reading the sources backwards, being blind when visiting or a misunderstanding of proportions. If you get treatment here – it’s usually fine. Certainly G.P.s! But not all can go ot a Doctor’s ! Professionals at work in their profession are often kind or neutral often knowledgeable and caring. But there is no proper system how to be admitted here, nor can you expect that staff have been trained in foreign languages like English by their management or government (if no prior knowledge) or that to get an operation you can get it without paying cash to the physician in charge. And it is important to understand that if a Doctor (degree) is only paid the equivalent of 4-700 LVL gross or net then HOW is he/she supposed to maintain competence? I am not defending the system but let’s tell how life really is. However, you may well jump queues here and get in the next day fater than in for instance bordering Scandinavian countries.. that is also why many come for medical treatment but then OF course PAY themselves for health care. Now that is a different story altogether… :)

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