Ireland is the best place to live in the world, according to a "quality of life" assessment by Economist magazine.
The country's combination of increasing wealth and traditional values gives it the conditions most likely to make its people happy, the survey found.
Ireland was followed by Switzerland, Norway and Luxembourg. All but one of the top 10 were European countries.
The USA languished in 13th, while Britain was 29th - the lowest of the pre-expansion EU nations.
'TOP TEN COUNTRIES'
The survey was prepared for the Economist's "World in 2005" publication, with the remit: "Where will be the best place to live in 2005?"
Researchers took into account not just income, but other factors considered important to people's satisfaction and well-being.
They included health, freedom, unemployment, family life, climate, political stability and security, gender equality and family and community life.
The Economist said: "Ireland wins because it successfully combines the most desirable elements of the new, such as low unemployment and political liberties, with the preservation of certain cosy elements of the old, such as stable family and community life."
The magazine admits that measuring quality of life is not a straightforward thing to do, and that its findings will have their critics - "except, of course, in Ireland".