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Switzerland best place for baby to be born

Published By United Press International
LONDON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- In 1988, the United States was ranked at the best place for a baby to be born, but today Switzerland is ranked No. 1 among 80 countries, researchers say.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of The Economist, used a quality-of-life index that links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys -- how happy people say they are -- to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries.

The researchers used data from 2006, collected by the Gallup Poll, and conducted a regression analysis for 11 significant indicators.

The independent variables included: material well-being as measured by gross domestic product per person; life expectancy at birth; the quality of family life, based primarily on divorce rates; the state of political freedoms; job security measured by the unemployment rate; climate measured the average deviation of minimum and maximum monthly temperatures and the number of months in the year with less than 1 inch of rainfall; personal physical security ratings based on homicide rates and ratings for risk from crime and terrorism; quality of community life; governance measured by ratings for corruption; gender equality measured by the share of seats in Parliament held by women.

Following Switzerland the best places for infants to be born in 2013 were: Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong, Finland, Ireland, Austria, Taiwan, Belgium, Germany tied with United States, United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Israel, The Economist said.

Despite their economic dynamism, none of the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- scores impressively. Nigeria came in last.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa