US News and World Report recently published a ranking of the best countries in the world for quality of life. To rank the 87 countries listed, US News and World Report, WPP and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed more than 17,000 people around the world.
The best countries for quality of life were scored across the following metrics:
- A Good Job Market
- Economically Stable
- Family Friendly
- Income Equality
- Politically Stable
- Well-developed Public Health System
- Well-developed Public Education System
Sweden is the best country in the world for affordability, safety and more. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Sweden is on average 20.9% lower than in the United States, while rent is 57.5% lower.
Sweden is famous for its free healthcare and higher education, according to US News and World Report. Swedes have one of the highest life expectancies, with an average age of 82.8, according to the CIA World Factbook.
This country has great parental leave policies: Parents are entitled to 480 days of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. If there are both parents, each person is entitled to these 240 days.
Norway is ranked the second best country in the world for quality of life. The country is a pioneer in gender equality, according to the CIA World Factbook. The country’s parental leave scheme allows parents to share childcare at home for up to 49 weeks at full salary (or 59 weeks at 80% of their salary).
Norway also provides a monthly allowance to families from one month after childbirth until age 18 to cover part of the costs of raising a child. Norway’s average life expectancy at birth is 82.75 years and since 2013 the country has ranked among the top 10 happiest countries in the world according to the World Happiness Report.
Canada obtained the top three. The country is known for its affordability, access to education and healthcare systems. Its life expectancy is 83.99 years, 3.24 years longer than its southern neighbor, the United States. Canada outperforms the average in income, employment, education, health, environmental quality, social connections and life satisfaction, according to the OECD Better Life Index.
This country has universal health insurance. It provides people with a health care system that is funded primarily by tax revenues and is free at the time of delivery. According to Columbia University, there is no cost-sharing for inpatient or outpatient care and prescription drug prices can vary but are still inexpensive.
Denmark is often celebrated for its exceptional quality of life. It boasts an affordable standard of living, with a strong job market that offers opportunities for many. The country’s economic stability provides a secure foundation for families, making it a welcoming and family-friendly environment. Denmark’s commitment to income equality ensures that prosperity is widely shared, contributing to social cohesion and a sense of fairness.
The nation’s political stability fosters a peaceful and harmonious society, while low crime rates make it a safe place to live and raise a family. Denmark’s well-developed public health system guarantees access to quality healthcare, and its public education system is highly regarded, providing excellent learning opportunities for all. These factors, combined, make Denmark a top choice for those seeking a high quality of life.
Finland’s commitment to affordability, job opportunities, economic stability, family-friendliness, income equality, political stability, safety, and well-developed public services like healthcare and education makes it a top-tier destination for those seeking an exceptional quality of life.
Switzerland’s exceptional quality of life is a result of its prosperous economy, strong commitment to social welfare, political stability, and a high standard of living. These factors, combined with its natural beauty and cultural richness, make Switzerland one of the world’s most desirable places to live and work.
The Netherlands offers a high quality of life characterized by a strong economy, excellent public services, a focus on environmental sustainability, and a culture of tolerance and inclusivity. This combination of factors makes the Netherlands an attractive destination for those seeking a balanced and prosperous life.
Australia is known for its high quality of life, characterized by a diverse range of factors. These include a strong economy, vast natural beauty, excellent healthcare and education systems, political stability, a welcoming and inclusive society, and a generally safe and secure environment. The country’s unique blend of urban sophistication and outdoor recreational opportunities contributes to its appeal as a top destination for those seeking a high standard of living.
Germany is renowned for its high quality of life, thanks to a multitude of factors. These include a strong and stable economy, extensive social welfare programs, a world-class healthcare system, a well-developed education system, and a commitment to environmental sustainability. The country’s rich cultural heritage, efficient infrastructure, and political stability further contribute to its reputation as an attractive destination for those seeking a high standard of living and a thriving, well-rounded lifestyle.
10. New Zealand
New Zealand offers a high quality of life characterized by a unique blend of natural beauty, economic stability, social inclusivity, and a strong sense of community. The country’s stunning landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and commitment to environmental conservation make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Additionally, New Zealand’s progressive policies, including a robust healthcare system and accessible education, contribute to its reputation as a place where residents enjoy a good standard of living. Its political stability, safety, and friendly atmosphere further enhance the appeal of New Zealand as a desirable place to call home.