A QUARTER of a century ago, The World in 1988 light-heartedly ranked 50 countries according to where would be the best place to be born. Then, America came top (see chart on left). Now the Economist Intelligence Unit has more earnestly calculated where would be best to be born in 2013. Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys—how happy people say they are—to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts—things like crime and trust in public institutions matter too. In all, the index takes 11 indicators into account. Some are fixed, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, social and cultural characteristics). See full article.