A report compiled by La Caixa says that the Balearics, along with Madrid and Catalonia, have the highest standards of living in Spain. Last year, the Balearics shared top place with Catalonia and Madrid. According to the year book for 2001 published by La Caixa, the Balearics scored nine out of a possible ten for the level of social welfare. The islands attained this position thanks to high marks in income, education, culture and leisure, employment, natural surroundings and climate. The islands had top marks for all these sections. The Balearics also scored well in other aspects such as health services, training, housing and home furnishings. The islands scored eight out of ten for these sections. But when it came to health, the Balearics scored the lowest marks in Spain, just one out of ten. This section takes into account life expectancy, death rate, death rate in infants, suicides, drugs-related deaths, deaths from infectious diseases, deaths from AIDS and deaths from road accidents. The Balearics also failed in working conditions, where once again the marks were one out of ten. This takes into account serious and fatal work accidents, professional diseases and precarious contracts, something which the labour ministry is trying to improve. The year book also says that the Balearics barely pass the test when it comes to citizen security and the environment, with only five out of ten. This part of the study is based on crime rate, the number of arrests and police activity, among other aspects. The islands also fare badly in social participation and co-existence. La Caixa took into account 500 indicators for the study. But in the introduction it warns that the social welfare index is not a subjective measure of happiness but an objective and neutral indication of social welfare.
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