According to the latest analysis by the French travel agency Voyage Avec Nous and the data company Flashs Norway, Switzerland, and Slovenia are ranked among the top three safest holiday destinations in Europe. The ranking of countries was made on the basis of five criteria of EuroHealth Consumer Index, Global Peace Index 2021, and Eurostat: health, security (which includes the general level of crime, the threat of terrorism and the number of police officers), the number of road deaths, thefts and murders. Slovenia has always been one of the safest European countries. This year, the Global Peace Index ranked Slovenia in a high fifth place globally, and in Europe fourth place.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistical composite index of life expectancy, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and per capita income indicators, which is used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. According to data from the 2021 (2022 report by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)) that was used to assess the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) Slovenia ranks #9 among 150 countries around the globe.
It is noteworthy that Slovenia boasts forest coverage of 61%. In addition to the country's remarkable landscapes and rich biodiversity, it is commendable that we exercise exceptional environmental stewardship. As substantiated by the Yale University Environmental Performance Index (2022), we have been ranked 7th globally, and as per The Good Country Index in the Planet and Climate section (2022), we have been placed 4th worldwide.
The synergy between Slovenia's breathtaking landscapes, thriving biodiversity, and proficient tourism sector renders it an ideal destination for outdoor recreational pursuits. The numerical evidence of this phenomenon is remarkable, with close to 5.9 million arrivals in a country with a population of 2 million. Furthermore, there has been an impressive 38.5% growth in this regard between 2021 and 2022, underscoring the tangible benefits of these attractions.
In the past, Slovenia has not been recognized for its exceptional culinary offerings, but this is swiftly transforming. Presently, with 15 Michelin-starred restaurants, Slovenia holds the 15th rank globally in the Michelin-star-per-capita rating, placing it among esteemed nations like Italy (ranked 9th) and Portugal (ranked 16th).
Slovenia boasts a remarkable cultural heritage, with numerous picturesque towns, traditions, and five UNESCO world heritage sites packed into an area of merely 20,000 square kilometres. In terms of heritage sites per capita, with 415,000 people per site (with population of just over 2 mio), Slovenia ranks second in the world, positioned between Cyprus and Croatia. The author of the Telegraph article on the provided link will have to be excused for somehow omitting Slovenia from inclusion in the list.
Regarding Slovenia's healthcare system, while there are certainly areas for improvement, it may not be entirely accurate to describe it as "insufficient". There are challenges such as staffing shortages, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and systemic corruption but they are also not uncommon in healthcare systems worldwide. It's important to keep these issues in perspective. According to the Legatum Prosperity Index (2021), Slovenia ranked 23rd out of 167 countries, which is a respectable position.
Despite these challenges, it's worth noting that Slovenia performs well in other areas related to healthcare. For example, we rank high in the Global Health Security Index (2021), which assesses preparedness for pandemics. Additionally, Slovenians are considered to be among the healthiest people globally. According to the Money UK Index (2023), Slovenia is ranked 11th, and the Bloomberg Global Health Index (2023) places us at 23rd.
Although some may perceive Slovenia's socialist tendencies as a hindrance to the economy, it's important to note that Slovenia has actually performed quite well in terms of economic growth. In fact, over the past seven years, Slovenia has exceeded the average growth rate of countries like Estonia and the Czech Republic, and only slightly trails behind Poland. This may come as a surprise even to many Slovenians who hold different beliefs about the country's economic performance.
Cumulative economic growth by country (2015 – 2022)
- Estonia: 25,7%
- The Czech Republic: 19,2%
- Slovenia: 26,7%
- Poland: 28,9%
In comparison to other nations across the globe, Slovenia exhibits a notable absence of widespread inequality, as reflected by its high Gini index ranking. Specifically, in 2019, Slovenia achieved the third-highest Gini index rating worldwide by The World Bank.