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October 2014

8 of the Quietest Places on Earth

Care2 website has a slide show of quiet locations. Their ranking:

    1. The Science Lab - controlled environment, Minnesota, United States
    2. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka
    3. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, United State
    4. The Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa
    5. Kronostky Nature Reserve, Russia
    6. The Hoh Valley, Washington, United States
    7. Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
    8. Samboja Lestari, Borneo

A related story about finding "zero decibels" in New Zealand:

"The last place on Earth without human noise" - BBC Online Article

"...A special kind of noisiness accosts passengers waiting for New York City subways. Down there, sound levels regularly exceed 100 decibels – enough to damage a person’s hearing over time. It was on one such platform that George Foy, a journalist and New York University creative writing professor, suddenly found himself losing it one day, when four trains pulled in at once. “I kind of went momentarily crazy,” he says. He hunched over and stuck his fingers in his ears, desperately trying to block out the cacophony. “I started wondering why the hell I was putting up with this,” he says.

It was then that his obsession to find the quietest place on Earth began..."

Where Are the Hardest Places to Live in the U.S.?

Time Magazine effort to measure counties by a criterium of education, earning power, obesity, etc., produced the following lists for "doing worse" and "doing better" across the United States:

The 10 lowest ranking counties in the country:

    1. Breathitt (Appalachia) Kentucky
    2. Clay (Appalachia) Kentucky
    3. Jackson (Appalachia) Kentucky
    4. Lee (Appalachia) Kentucky
    5. Leslie (Appalachia) Kentucky
    6. Magoffin (Appalachia) Kentucky
    7. Humphreys County, Mississippi
    8. East Carroll Parish, Louisiana
    9. Jefferson County, Georgia
    10. Lee County, Arkansas

The "easiest" places to live in the United States according to Time Magazine (and this is where the criterium for placement on the list shows its flawed construction: traffic congestion and commute times are particularly awful in the top-ranking Washington DC suburbs. But the Time list doesn't account for that condition - - or many other factors.

"The top 10 counties in the United States are in the suburbs of Washington (especially on the Virginia side of the Potomac River), but the top ranking of all goes to Los Alamos County, N.M., home of Los Alamos National Laboratory.... "

The list does include an interchange of factors in order to produce better results to describe the conditions of an area, such as this logic put into constructing the list:

"We used disability — the percentage of the population collecting federal disability benefits but not also collecting Social Security retirement benefits — as a proxy for the number of working-age people who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed... "

This is a flawed effort, though interesting and not without any value. But it ignores too much to be taking as a valid measurement for "better" or "worse".

Norway ranked #1 for country prosperity

Website thelocal.com has a ranking of national prosperity by country.

    1. Norway
    2. Switzerland
    3. New Zealand
    4. Denmark
    5. Canada
    6. Sweden
    7. Australia
    8. Finland
    9. Netherlands
    10. United States

"The Nordic nation retained its number one spot from last year, as the top-ranking most prosperous country. New Zealand moved to third place..."

The article itself has rankings for the top twenty most prosperous.

2014 Best Places for Expats

Expat Insider online list

  1. Equador
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Mexico
  4. Switzerland
  5. USA
  6. Singapore
  7. Spain
  8. Philippines
  9. Australia
  10. Hong Kong

Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas - Amazon

Best 6 Countries to Retire As an Expat in 2013

Article at Viva Tropical

  1. Equador
  2. Pananma
  3. Malaysia
  4. Mexico
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Nicaragua

Norway ranked as best place to grow old. Afghanistan ranked as worst.

Washington Post article on ranking best places to age:

" ...We have a world which is ageing fast,” HelpAge International chief executive officer Toby Porter said. “For too long, older people have been excluded from international and national development planning.”

It’s more expensive to live in D.C. than New York, study says

Washington Post article on the city in American that's rapidly growing into the most wealthy, and then obviously the most expensive:

"The Washington region ranks as the most expensive place to live in the country, ahead of the pricey markets of New York and San Francisco, according to a government study.

The surprising statistic comes from a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that shows that — on average — Washingtonians spend more on housing and related expenses (utilities, furnishings and equipment) than New Yorkers and San Franciscans."

United States moves down to 12 in economic freedom rating

In this annual ranking, the USA has moved lower again. Published by the Cato Institute. Article about the report from Breitbart News:

"A new report of "economic freedom" around the world finds the US ranked 12th among 152 countries, tied with the United Kingdom, and lower than neighbor Canada or Australia...."

10 Most Stressful Cities

CNN Money magazine on low stress urban areas. From their list:

    1. New York City
    2. Detroit
    3. Los Angeles
    4. Riverside - San Bernardino
    5. Houston
    6. Chicago
    7. Miami
    8. New Orleans
    9. Atlanta
    10. Memphis

10 Least Stressed Out Cities

CNN Money magazine on low stress urban areas. From their list:

    1. Salt Lake City
    2. Rochester, NY
    3. Raleigh, NC
    4. Minneapolis
    5. Richmond, VA

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