The US is in the top 20 countries with the highest standard of living, but don’t let that go to your head. The Social Progress Index says that at No. 19, America is a “disappointment” given its huge economy, per Business Insider. The ranking is based on three categories: basic human needs (like shelter and health care), foundations of well-being (like life expectancy and education), and opportunity (rights, freedoms, and tolerance). Here are the 19, each with a score out of 100:
- Finland: 90.1
- Canada: 89.5
- Denmark: 89.4
- Australia: 89.1
- Switzerland: 88.9
- Sweden: 88.8
- Norway: 88.7
- Netherlands: 88.7
- United Kingdom: 88.6
- Iceland: 88.45
- New Zealand: 88.45
- Ireland: 87.94
- Austria: 86.60
- Japan: 86.54
- Germany: 86.42
- Belgium: 86.19
- Spain: 85.88
- France: 84.79
- USA: 84.62
VOCABULARY: standard of living, huge, categories, shelter, foundations, life expectancy, tolerance
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Did you expect your country to be on the list? Why or why not?
- Would you live in any of the countries on the list? Why or why not? If yes, where?
- Do you think the study is accurate? Why or why not?
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- Which countries have the same scores?
- Who performed the study?
- What are the 3 types of information used to make the rankings?
- The highest possible score was 150. (T or F)
- Which number was Japan?
EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:
What do the following expressions or phrases mean?
- Go to your head
- Each with a score out of 100
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