Australia is World’s 2nd Best Birthplace

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 29, 2012 11:38 AM EST

A pregnant mother living in Australia is in one of the best places in the world, according to a recent survey done by The Economist's Intelligence Unit.

In a survey by The Economist's Intelligence Unit, the resource-rich nation, out of a possible 10 satisfaction points, scored 8.12, just 0.1 behind Switzerland, the world's best country for a baby to be born into next year. The US, which topped the 1998 list, came in 16th.

Next in the top five were Norway, Sweden and Denmark, all Scandinavian states. New Zealand landed on the seventh place with a score of 7.95, while the last at the 80th spot was Nigeria with 4.74 points.

The list, the first after 24 years, was compiled based on a combination of surveys. Respondents were basically asked how happy they are, with objective determinants about the quality of life. On the 1998 index, Australia ranked 18th.

"Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too," Laza Kekic, the unit's director of country forecasting services, said in a statement.

The Economist's Intelligence Unit used indicators such as geography, demography, social and cultural characteristics, government policies and the state of the world economy.

Australia in 2011 placed second to Norway in the annual United Nations Human Development Index.

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