Economy

This Is The Least Financially Stressed Country In The World

it is hard to peg a methodology for determining financial stress.  Some people make a great deal of money, but do not live within their means. Some people have modest incomes but are thrifty. Occasionally, people or families get hit with overwhelming costs like huge medical bills. Their financial stress can change for the worse in a matter of days.

Comparethemarket created a methodology it believes answers the question of how to measure financial stress. Instead of looking at it by income alone or the circumstance of sudden burdensome expenses, it looked at OECD data by country. It prepared a report entitled “Financially Stressed Countries”. The total universe was 35 nations.

The ratings were based on a scoring system. Nations were rated on a scale of one to 10. Five factors, some of which the OECD provides, were included. These were average salary, unemployment rate, the average home price for a house with three bedrooms, average monthly rent, and the cost of living for a family of four. It is reasonable to quarrel with this, primarily because it does not include debt, and may not include income tax which varies substantially from country to country.

Based on the research, the least financially stressed nation is the United States. The lower the score, the less financially stressed a country is. The U.S. score is 3.57 out of 10. The monthly salary figure used was $3,556, which seems low, based on Census figures, which were not used. The unemployment rate used was 6.7%. The housing price is $2,865 a month. The rent figure is $1,948. And the cost of living number is $3,313. So, the cost of living and salary are nearly identical.

Australia (3.75) and Denmark (3.76) also received very low scores.

At the far end of the spectrum, Costa Rica has a score of 6.7. Among the major reasons was an unemployment rate of 20%. Nearly as bad, Columbia has a score of 6.37. The monthly salary is an unusually low $320. Greece also did badly with a score of 6.35. The salary figure at $881 is low, and unemployment at 16.2% is high.

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