The survey, conducted by the United Nations, showed people in Ireland earned more, were better educated and lived longer than 177 other countries.
The compiled list which includes 182 countries worldwide is ranked according to wealth, education levels and life expectancy.
The data needed for the study was compiled before the economic crisis set in and reflects the lofty position the Emerald Isle held prior to our economic meltdown. Evidence of this is Iceland's position at third on the list -- the Atlantic island is now the economic pariah of Europe and basically bankrupt.
The most desirable country in which to live is Norway, while the most powerful country in the world, the USA, is outside the top 10 in 13th position.
The top 20 is made up almost entirely by European countries with 16 out of the 20 coming from Europe.
Australia and Canada, the preferred destinations of Irish emigrants, figure strongly on the list coming in at second and fourth on the list respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the poverty of the third world is highlighted dramatically, with sub-Saharan Africa propping up the table.