The rise has made India the second best place after Bhutan to live in the sub-continent, according to the 2010 Quality of Life Index, published by travel magazine International Living.
Overall, France topped the poll for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Australia, Switzerland, and Germany. The US lost four positions to end at seventh.
Sweden has been dubbed as the costliest country in the world to live by the index.In 2009, India was the fourth best country in South Asia after Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The index, published for the 30th year, ranks 194 nations in nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate.
India has not only improved its overall position in the tally, but has also gained around 25 points in the cost of living category. This year the country got 65 points compared to 40 last year.
“The figure relates to how much it will cost one to live in a style comparable to or better than the standard of living you’re likely enjoying in the US,” the magazine says.
Iraq tops the cost of living category by securing 100 per cent. It was followed by Afghanistan which got 88 points.
Sweden scored a zero in the category.
The US, which is the base for the category, got 56 points, 9 less than India.Other countries of the sub-continent, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Burma got 80, 56, 65, 73, 64, 63 and 75 points respectively in the category.
In the risk and safety field, there were many winners — around 55 countries, including Bhutan and Maldives from the sub-continent, secured 100 points.Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan were the most unsafe nations, according to the index, which gave these countries zero point in the category.In the sub-continent, India and Nepal got 64, Sri Lanka 71, Burma and Bangladesh 57 each and Pakistan secured a mere 7 points on the risk and safety front.
“For the fifth year running, France takes first in our annual Quality of Life Index. No surprise. Its tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes are outweighed by an unsurpassable quality of life, including the world’s best health care,” the magazine said.
The survey is compiled using official government statistics, data from WHO and views of the magazine’s editors around the globe.