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Scotland is Worst Small Country 2007-06-26

Posted by clype in Europe, Health, Money, Scotland, Statistics.

Scotland has been judged the worst-performing small country in western Europe due to the low-life expectancy and poor health of its citizens, a new survey found Monday 2007-06-11.

The study by ‘The Scottish Federation of Small Businesses‘ (FSB) measured wealth, employment rates, health and education in small, developed countries with fewer than nine million people, such as Iceland, Ireland and Norway.

Despite being above average on three of the four indicators, it said, Scotland retains a life expectancy well below the average for ‘The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development‘ (OECD).

‘It’s basically down to poor health and low life expectancy,’ according to the report’s author John Mclaren
‘That’s what drags it down to the bottom of the small countries.’

An FSB Scotland spokesman said the list ranked small western European countries in the following order: Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Austria, and Scotland.

  • If Scotland were an independent country it would rank 17th on a list of 24 developed nations, down one from last year, and in the same position, down two, on a list of 31 including some less developed, the FSB said.

On the list of 31, Iceland came in top and Turkey last, while the United States of America and Austria ranked just ahead of Scotland. Britain as a whole was in 12th.

Just behind were France, Germany and Spain followed later by countries like South Korea, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico and Turkey.

‘Scotland is the worst small country in western Europe, and requires urgent action to improve both our life chances and life expectancy,’ FSB Scotland policy convener Andy Willox said.

The news is especially jarring as Scotland touts itself as ‘the best small country in the world’ on signs at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

It comes after the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) won the largest number of seats in the Scottish parliamentary elections last month and is now ruling in a minority executive.

It was the SNP’s first such victory since the parliament, which is devolved from London and has powers over some policy areas like health and education, was restored in 1999.

A Scottish executive spokesman said the region’s ‘disappointing’ performance supports the new SNP administration’s case for making the Scottish economy more ‘dynamic and competitive.’



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