This article reflects the inherent shortcoming of our western society's propensity for quantifying all things. The assertion that Scotland is the worst small western European country rests primarily upon it's shorter life expectancy. This relatively minor, 2 year difference takes in to account none of the things which make a life qualitatively better... like enjoying a fine glass of single malt scotch rather than some snooty French wine...
The Federation of Small Businesses' annual Index of Wealth compared 10 countries on economic performance, employment rates, health and education.
Scotland's life expectancy rate was a major factor in it coming bottom.
The FSB Scotland index examined countries with fewer than nine million people, including Norway, Iceland and the Republic of Ireland.
"The reason why Scotland is stuck at the bottom of the pile is largely due to our poor health and our low life expectancy," he said.
The figures were 74.2 for men and 79.3 for women, compared to the UK average of 76.6 and 81 years.
However, Mr McLaren added that even if health was taken out of the equation Scotland would still be "fairly low" on the table, in about fifth or sixth place.