Another questionable survey seeks to evaluate safety in Costa Rica

Is Costa Rica the 10th safety place in the world or is the report from another of those bogus surveys like the Happy Planet Index?

The latest report comes from a firm called ValuePenguin that mashes data to develop reports on car insurance and other consumer purchases.

The report also said that Costa Rica was the fourth safest country in the small population category after Cyprus, Ireland and Iceland.

Some 107 countries were included in the results, but critics quickly pointed out that Great Britain was not included.

The company used available data to record population carbon dioxide release, number of police per 100,000 residents, traffic deaths per 100,000 residents, thefts, stickups and life expectancy.

The firm reported that Costa Rica had 20 assaults per 100,000 persons. To rank these countries, the firm said it collected data on a variety of safety-related topics from a variety of reputable  sources, everything from the quality of countries’ water sources to their rates of kidnappings and the prevalence of drugs between their borders.

Then it said it narrowed the list to the seven factors.

Critics quickly savaged the study on a Web page. “This Valuepenguin report is not worth the bandwidth it uses up!” said one. Another said that the data was at least four years old.

As A.M. Costa Rica has reported, crime statistics here are skewed because many persons do not report them because they do not expect an investigation.

The 2009 Happy Planet Index is still quoted uncritically even by government sources even though it was mainly ideological.  It stressed lack of industrial development.

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