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Geographical Research: Country Selection


The use of theoretical foundations, which have become the central milestones in the course’s study, is necessary to consolidate and generalize the knowledge obtained. Application of the studied statistical information allows translating theoretical bases into a practical activity that stimulates a student’s professional and creative development as a specialist. Thus, this task is an actual continuation of training, summarizing the acquired skills and knowledge in geographic research areas. The central result of this work is the choice of the country best suited to the proposed criteria for a comfortable stay. This included six indicators in the categories of security, intellectualization, and health. Moreover, the work showed that there are countries on the planet that are almost complete opposites to the chosen country. Based on the above, this paper aims to critically analyze in detail the geographical criteria to determine an agglomeration suitable for the given conditions.

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There is no doubt that the modern appearance of the planet Earth is so multifunctional and versatile that one can find here a variety of areas, sometimes even opposite in characteristics. In some of them, people’s life is as comfortable and effortless, civil rights are respected, and the actions of the authorities are aimed at creating conditions in which citizens feel as happy and proud. On the other hand, there are countries where the issue of people’s daily survival — especially in terms of high crime or martial law — is the only point that worries them. Given this great diversity of urban and historical cultures, it would be appropriate to propose six socio-geographical criteria that determine the most appropriate living conditions. In general, the identification of these parameters will make it possible to search for and analyze a country that is suitable for the given characteristics.


The HDI ratio, which summarizes a number of qualitative and quantitative indicators of the region, is of primary importance for choosing a comfortable country. This parameter is calculated by measuring life expectancy, literacy rate, and economic security of people, as shown in Eq. (1) (UNDP HDR Office, 2016). Thus, the higher the HDI for a given country, the more likely it is to be comfortable living there. Based on the methods of interpretation of this parameter, selecting a region with HDI above 0.8 will be acceptable.

The HDI ratio


The climatic characteristics of the city are a no less important factor in choosing a place to stay than the HDI. Moreover, in deeper research, it can be found that the number of sunny days, NSD, peculiar to the region may be a prerequisite for increasing life expectancy, as well as for stimulating the development of a happier nation. It is known that the amount of sunlight is directly proportional to the health of the nation, so in countries where there are few sunny days, people are gloomier and more depressed. According to Raman (2018), the average daily time spent in sunlight should be twenty minutes, so the average annual rating is summed up, as shown in Eq. (2). Thus, any value exceeding the calculated value will be acceptable.


The third crucial parameter of a favorable urban environment is the crime rate, CR, which also characterizes the quality of the law enforcement system. It seems obvious that citizens want to live in a country where the crime rate is minimized. As a rule, this parameter is calculated as the number of committed and solved murderous crimes per 100,000 inhabitants: the higher this number, the more dangerous it is to live in the region. This criterion’s logical development is the GPI, a composite index that estimates both the domestic crime rate and government spending on military and police forces. The lower the GPI value, the more peaceful a country is. Suitable selection parameters are a crime index lower than 50 cases per 100,000 and GPI not more than 1.5.


Child mortality, CM, is an important criterion for choice, characterizing the availability and quality of medicine in a particular country. It is clear that in countries with high mortality rates of children, there are problems with the effectiveness of the health care system, and therefore there is an increased risk of death from disease at any age. In addition, child mortality indirectly determines the country’s epidemiological background and links the quality of life with the environmental situation. A suitable parameter is the lowest rate, not exceeding 10 out of 1,000 cases.

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The guarantee of civil liberties, CL, the absence of political repression, and the possibility of expression of will are standard components of a developed society. It seems obvious that a country comfortable for a living should be built on the principle of democracy, where the voice of each resident is important and considered. In addition, there must be a clear belief that any opinion alternative to the dominant ideology will not be suppressed or condemned. The index value of sixty is taken as the largest index, so if the country’s value exceeds 50, it is acceptable.


Finally, the last in the list of their six crucial criteria is CPI, which quantifies how the region views the phenomenon of corruption. Although this parameter may not seem so grandiose, in fact, it characterizes the morale of the population, demonstrates the cohesion of civil society, and adherence to the principles of fairness and honesty. Thus, any value above 80 becomes a determining factor for choosing a country because it means that entrepreneurs, citizens, and authorities are ready to work openly and transparently for the benefit of the country.

Table 1. Specified criteria for selecting a country

Value (limit) >0.8 122 <50 1.5 10 >50 >80


It should be made clear beforehand that selecting a particular country based on given attributes is a compromise, as several candidates exist for the role. Thus, the selection of a particular region should be justified by the best characteristics in the group. Several statistical databases were used to select a country, and, thanks to their consistent implementation, the number of candidate countries was gradually reduced. In the end, six regions were singled out, each of which would be fully consistent with the established criteria (Table 2). However, New Zealand was the leader by three criteria, making it the most comfortable country.

New Zealand is a Polynesian state based on the principles of constitutional monarchy. The population of the country for 2018 was 4.886 million (“New Zealand,” 2020). It is an island state in the Pacific Ocean’s waters with a developed economy, an excellent environmental environment, geographically isolated from the continents. Central factors of production include metallurgy, food industry, services, and timber processing.

Table 2. Results of geographic research

New Zealand 0.921 2000 42.19 1.20 4.2 58 87
Denmark 0.930 1780 26.09 1.28 3.7 57 87
Switzerland 0.946 1566 21.58 1.37 3.3 57 85
Finland 0.925 1780 25.53 1.40 2.1 60 86
Sweden 0.937 1821 47.43 1.48 2.0 60 85
Germany 0.939 1625 35.14 1.49 3.2 55 80

The Opposite Side

There is no ethnic, racial, or religious bias in this, but by combining factors and the proximity of the cultural code, the choice of Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries seems unsuitable for happy residence. For the most part, countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Sudan have rigid patriarchal policies, and the civil rights of minorities are not taken into account. In addition, some of the non-serious crimes may be punishable by death. Nevertheless, to demonstrate the world’s cultures’ immense diversity, this section is devoted to finding the most inappropriate country to fit the parameters. For this selection, the following limiting criteria were used.

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Table 3. Contrasting factors

Value (limit) <0.8 <122 >50 >1.5 >10 <50 <80

In the context of the above criteria, Syria was shown to be the least comfortable country, leading on three characteristics at once: GPI, CL, and CPI (see Appendix A). Although it is worth admitting that there are hardly any regions on planet Earth where the NSD is actually less than 122 hpy, this was the only positive parameter in the context of the research. For Syria, the number of sunny days at 140 percent is higher than the average for all unsuitable countries. However, this is not enough to live comfortably, and thus, Syria’s culture, political environment, and social life are the least satisfying of the six characteristics posited.


Summarizing the results obtained, it is important to note that there is a great variety of such diverse and contradictory cultures on planet Earth, each of which has historical value and sustainability. Generally speaking, those characteristics of the state that are acceptable to the local population may be completely unacceptable to members of other cultures. This geographic research found two opposites through the use of six important criteria for comfortable living. These concerned the level of social and environmental security, the availability of medicine, the climate, and the economic efficiency of the region. It was shown that New Zealand is the absolute leader in all characteristics, while Syria ranks the lowest.


Average sunshine a year at cities in Europe. (2020). Web.

Civil liberties index. (2020). Web.

Corruption perceptions index. (2020). Web.

Crime rate by country 2020. (2020). Web.

Human Development Index and its components. (2020). Web.

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New Zealand. (2020). Web.

OECD. (2020). Infant mortality rates. Web.

Raman, R. (2018). How to safely get vitamin d from sunlight. Web.

Statista Research Department. (2020). Ranking of the 20 most peaceful countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index 2020. Web.

UNDP HDR Office. (2016). Training material for producing national human development reports. Web.

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