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Sat Aug 29 05:06:05 SAST 2015

SA's no place to grow up

ANDILE NDLOVU | 30 November, 2012 00:39

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

If you're an expectant parent, you might want to move to Europe or Australia to give your children the best life possible by the time they are 18 .

British weekly news magazine The Economist recently issued its "where to-be born" index for 2013.

The index uses the Economist Intelligence Unit's economic forecasts for 2030, the year in which 2012's infants will have reached adulthood. Switzerland leads the way with a score of 8.22 out of a maximum of 10. It is followed by South Africa's perennial sporting rival Australia, which scores 8.12.

Factors taken into account include the life expectancy of each country's citizens, the level of literacy, the cost of living, the expected inflation rates and the per capita domestic product.

A quick referral to the 2011 census tells us why we're probably languishing 53rd (score of 5.89) on The Economist's index:

Only 28.4% of our population has completed Grade 12;

65% of South Africans do not have internet access; and

About 748600 households do not have a toilet.

The news magazine's index reads: "America, where babies will inherit the large debt of the boomer generation, languishes in 16th place.

"Despite their economic dynamism, none of the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries scores impressively.

"Among the 80 countries covered, Nigeria comes last: it is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013."

But before we all slit our wrists and take tranquillisers - at least we're second only to Brazil in the Brics group- rankings. Brazil sits 37th on the index with a score of 6.52.


1. Switzerland 8.22

2. Australia 8.12

3. Norway 8.09

4. Sweden 8.02

5. Denmark 8.01

6. Singapore 8.00

7. New Zealand 7.95

8. Netherlands 7.94

9. Canada 7.81

10. Hong Kong 7.80


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