General News / December 18, 2020

Somehow, Ireland ranked second in the world for quality of life

Photo: Shutterstock
General News / December 18, 2020

Somehow, Ireland ranked second in the world for quality of life

Words: Katie Gartland

There’s over 8,000 homeless people nationwide and it costs €1,200 to rent a shed in Tallaght. But sure, Ireland has the second best quality of life in the world.

Ireland has been ranked second in the world for quality of life, according to the United Nations.

In the annual review, the United Nations ranked 189 countries worldwide. Ireland was measured ahead of Germany (6), Sweden (7), Australia (8), and the UK (13). We ranked joint second with Switzerland, just behind Norway.

The United Nations began the annual Human Development Report in 1990. That year saw Ireland come 16th, we were outranked by Spain, Belgium, Italy, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, the UK, Denmark, France, Australia, Norway, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan.

Pedro Conceição lead the Report, he said Ireland has jumped in ranking due to our increased education rates.

“The Irish economy has almost doubled since 1990, but the biggest driver was actually education. That was the indicator that made relatively more progress since 1990,” Pedro Conceição said.

The Report focused on life expectancy, the average amount of years spent in school and gross income. Ireland’s national life expectancy is 82. In 1990, the average amount of school years in Ireland was 9, it has since jumped to 19. Ireland’s current average income per capita is $68,371.

In 1990, Ireland was ranked close to Italy and Slovenia. This year, Italy came 29th and Slovenia was 21st. Mr Conceição explained that Ireland’s rise in the Study was due to economic growth.

“I think what explains faster improvement in the case of Ireland is the economy – certainly the Italian economy and Slovenian economy didn’t grow as quickly as the Irish economy – but improvements in education were much faster in the case of Ireland,” Mr Conceição said.

Though this year saw Ireland ranking second for quality of life worldwide, we still have a lot of work to do outside of the UN’s ranking system. District’s Living Hell series has looked at the worse rental spots in Dublin during the ongoing housing crisis. Ireland’s Direct Provision system also needs an upheaval to give more rights and compassion to asylum seekers.

Read more about the UN’s Human Development Report here.