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This is Thanksgiving weekend in much of Canada, when families get together to “celebrate the harvest”.  It’s a beautiful time of year – trees ablaze with fall colour, bright orange pumpkins laid bare in farmers’ fields and flocks of birds blackening the skies, as they prepare to fly south for the winter.

In addition to nature’s beauty, there is much to be thankful for and each year, various organizations rank countries on everything from wealth to happiness. Despite the economic downturn, if you live in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK or the US, you are very fortunate. Where do you live? How does your country rank?  Let’s take a look.

The Human Development Index, commissioned for the United Nations Development Programme ranks countries on health, education and standard of living.  In 2010, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and US ranked within the top 26 nations of the 169 included.  Australia placed second, New Zealand third, the US fourth, Canada eighth, and the UK twenty-sixth.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption. In 2010, we placed in the top 22 of 178 countries investigated. New Zealand ranked first, Canada sixth, Australia eighth, the UK twentieth and the US twenty-second.

The Institute for Economics and Peace measures the relative peacefulness of nations and regions in its Global Peace Index. In 2011, New Zealand ranks second, Canada eighth, Australia eighteenth, the UK twenty-sixth and the US eighty-second out of 153 countries observed.

In 2010, the Gallup World Poll surveyed people in 155 countries between 2005 and 2009 to determine their happiness.  Again, we were in the top 17 countries with New Zealand tied with Costa Rica for sixth, Canada and Australia tied for eighth with Israel and Switzerland, the US tied with Austria for fourteenth and the UK ranked seventeenth.

So, whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or not, take a few moments this weekend to reflect on just how lucky you are.  Where do you live? What are you grateful for?  Let us know…….we’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Your Boomer Life Partners

Postscript: For more information on these indices and how all countries ranked, click on the links below:

Disclosure: Products, services and websites mentioned in this Boomer Life Today blog post were not solicited or paid for by companies in New Zealand or abroad.