The Economist Intelligence Unit has made a study ranking countries for best quality of life. Small countries seem to do best.
The most striking finding is that the USA has slipped to 16th position. In the 80s USA still had the best quality of life. Ireland does quite well at 12th position though this may slip as continued austerity bites Ireland.
Britain is at 27th position. Interestingly former Communist countries seem to have gone backwards. A study done in 1988 showed the USSR at 21st position. Now Russia languishes at 72nd position.
International: The lottery of life | The Economist