Living Abroad

The Best Countries To Live in

Updated: 19 November 2021

This year, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the BAV Group joined forces to come up with a list of the best countries to live in. Their study questioned over 17,000 global citizens from across four regions for assessing the perception of at least 78 countries on 77 different metrics. 

Based on their assessments on quality of life, here is a list of the top ten countries in the world to live in. Read on to know the different aspects that make these nations so attractive for the people and families seeking residence from across the globe. 

What You’ll Find in This Article:

1. Canada
2. Denmark
3. Sweden
4. Norway
5. Switzerland
6. Australia
7. Netherlands
8. Finland
9. Germany
10.New Zealand

Top Countries To Live in

Canada   

Canada has a stronger appeal to the digitally-minded, a younger generation, and white-collar employees because of the strong digital services and tech scene. It’s an industrial society with a higher living standard. It ranks third in this world in terms of proven oil reserves and fourth in oil production. 

Quality of Life 

There are several benefits of moving to the country, and several of them will appeal specifically to young families trying to settle down. Such perks include free public secondary education, free universal healthcare for permanent residents, low air pollution, and a higher degree of public safety. Canada Startup Visa and booming startup scene is another incentive that draws many talents into the country.

Healthcare 

Canada is one of the best countries to live in because of the availability of universal healthcare. In fact, in some provinces, private healthcare is completely banned. 

Education 

The nation also ranks among the top ten countries across the world in terms of receiving state education. Also, it is among the top nations for science, math, and reading courses. Moreover, children growing in Ontario and Quebec can get an education in English and French. 

Canada: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market100
Affordable7.7
Economically stable99.9
Family-friendly99
Income equality61.6
Politically stable100
Safe96.7
Public education system97.8
Public health system95.9

Denmark 

Along with Norway and Sweden, Denmark forms a cultural part of Northern Europe called Scandinavia. The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, is the hub that connects Northern Europe with the world. 

Quality of Life 

One of the most impressive parts of Denmark is income equality. Also, the country is pretty politically stable and safe for living in. A well-developed public health and education system further improves the quality of life in the country. 

Healthcare 

The citizens in Denmark have free, equal, and universal healthcare services. Free healthcare in the country is funded through tax money. All the citizens can gain equal access to their choice of hospital, diagnosis, and treatment under affordable health insurance. 

Education 

In Denmark, education is compulsory for all kids below the age of 15 or 16, though attending public school is not compulsory. Public education is free and open for all children. The education system is one of the contributors that make Denmark one of the best places to live in.

Denmark: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market61.6
Affordable0.4
Economically stable89
Family-friendly91.5
Income equality100
Politically stable96.9
Safe97.5
Public education system97.7
Public health system97.8

Sweden 

The beautiful country of Sweden, with the Baltic Sea to the east and Norway to the west, expands across a major part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is one of the largest countries by landmass in the European Union. Centuries of neutrality in war and continued commitment to civil rights also make it one of the best places to live in the world. 

Quality of Life 

Two metrics of quality of life, i.e., the public health system and public education system are of the finest quality in Sweden. It is also politically and economically stable as a nation, which makes young couples and employees keen on settling down here. 

Healthcare 

Swedish citizens get a decentralized universal healthcare system. The health policy and related budget are dictated by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The twenty-one regional councils fund health expenditure through their tax funding.  

Education 

As per the Swedish Education Act, children have to go to school for a minimum of 10 years from the time they turn six. The country’s keen focus on universal education is praised all over the world. 

Sweden: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market51.7
Affordable2
Economically stable94.5
Family-friendly93.5
Income equality83.3
Politically stable95.4
Safe93.3
Public education system100
Public health system100

Norway 

Norway is the westernmost country in the Scandinavian peninsula, which is made up of mostly hills and mountains. Most of the country’s population stays in the south, in the region surrounding the capital city of Oslo. The breathtaking coastline has island shores, bays, and fjords spanning thousands of miles. 

Quality of Life 

The safe environment and continued political stability make Norway a great place to reside. Though the country is not known for being affordable, it has a well-managed public education and health system. It is a family-friendly nation that has a fairly good job market. 

Healthcare 

Norway does not offer free healthcare. All residents need to pay for all kinds of medical treatments. But there is an annual limit on medical expenditure. After a person reaches that limit, they get an exemption from medical costs for the rest of the year. 

Education 

Norway strongly believes that each person should gain access to education irrespective of their socio-economic background. Thus, attending all public universities in Norway is free. 

Norway: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market47.6
Affordable1.7
Economically stable92.5
Family-friendly92.3
Income equality87.1
Politically stable95.9
Safe97.1
Public education system94.6
Public health system91.2

Switzerland 

Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small Central European country made up of the snowy Alps, valleys, and lakes. Not only is it one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but is also known for holding its neutrality for centuries. 

Quality of Life 

The low unemployment and the high gross domestic products per capita make Switzerland the best place to live in. The strong economy gets powered by a highly advanced service sector and low corporate tax rates, along with a high-tech manufacturing sector. 

Healthcare 

Healthcare is universal here and the Swiss Federal Law on Health Insurance regulates it. Though healthcare is pretty well-developed, there are no free state-funded health services. But private health insurance is mandatory for all Swiss residents. 

Education 

Most students in the country complete their 11 years of compulsory education at the state school in their resident municipality. Only five percent go to a private school. Switzerland has some of the most expensive and finest private schools in the globe, right from kindergarten to university. 

Switzerland: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market55.9
Affordable0.4
Economically stable98.7
Family-friendly90.3
Income equality56.5
Politically stable100
Safe100
Public education system98.3
Public health system95.5

Australia 

Australia is one of the world’s most multicultural countries, with the world’s oldest continuously existing culture. It has a highly competent workforce as well as a long history of democratic governance and stability. The economy is strong and open. Australia has a population of 25 million people from around 200 nations.

Quality of Life 

It is a wealthy nation that has a market-based economy with a high per capita income and high gross domestic product. The service sector drives the economy and the export details. Australia has a higher participation rate in sporting activities and a higher life expectancy for both males and females. 

Healthcare 

The system is divided into two parts – the private health system and the public health system. The citizens can access quality care at a lower cost or for free within the public health system through tax-funded Medicare. 

Education 

As per the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, education is mandatory for students from six to 17 years. The country also offers scholarships to emerging leaders from around the world to study, research, and build their careers in Australia.

Australia: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market84.9
Affordable3.4
Economically stable96.2
Family-friendly99.2
Income equality44.1
Politically stable95.3
Safe91.3
Public education system91
Public health system83.5

Netherlands 

Located along the border of Western Europe, the Netherlands happens to be a coastal lowland that is lined with windmills signifying its development right around the water. The Schelde, Meuse, and Rhine are the three main European rivers that reach the busy ports of the nation through Belgium and Germany. 

Quality of Life 

The tolerant and liberal society of the Netherlands makes it one of the best countries to live in the world. Back in 2001, it became the first-ever country to legalize same-sex marriages, and national stances on abortion, euthanasia, and drugs are liberal. 

Healthcare  

The country offers universal healthcare but everyone working or living in the Netherlands needs to have basic health insurance. Basic health insurance is affordable, and in most cases, the employers pay a small percentage of it. 

Education 

Between the ages five and 16, education is compulsory for all. Though both public and private institutions exist, the latter is mainly for ideological and religious principles. The education system is pretty advanced at all levels in the Netherlands. 

Netherlands: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market49
Affordable3.2
Economically stable89.5
Family-friendly92.6
Income equality70
Politically stable97.1
Safe90.5
Public education system92.8
Public health system93.2

Finland 

The culture and history of Finland are defined by geography as it is one of the most northern-reaching nations in the world. It is bordered by the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, along with Russia, Sweden, and Norway. The extended stretches of open land act as a gateway between East and West. 

Quality of Life 

The economy of the country is mainly focused on free-market capitalism, which focuses most of its spending on public services and social safety. The workforce of the country has historically been connected to the land, though now they have moved towards rapid industrialization. The standard of living is very high.  

Healthcare 

The well-structured healthcare system of Finland is at least one hundred years old. The country is focused more on disease prevention and offers the facilities of universal healthcare. The free healthcare system means no one has to ever suffer from medical costs. 

Education 

Finland has the greatest education system in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Study conducted by the World Economic Forum. Finland’s educational system aims to stress equal educational possibilities, providing every student with the fundamental life skills and core knowledge of key disciplines while also allowing them the freedom to experiment, explore, and follow their passions in later stages.

Finland: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market37.5
Affordable1.9
Economically stable82.8
Family-friendly90.4
Income equality74.8
Politically stable90.1
Safe94.7
Public education system92.1
Public health system88.4

Germany 

Germany, one of the largest economies in the world, is the most populous nation of the European Union. Ever since its reunification, its role in the international arena has grown steadily. The country is situated in Central Europe and its landscape changes from the Bavarian Alps in the south to the plains in the North. 

Quality of Life 

It is one of the top countries to live in when it comes to quality of life. Germany spends a significant amount on social services for its aging population. It also has an open-door policy that makes the nation attractive to migrants. 

Healthcare  

Statutory contributions have made healthcare free for all in Germany. Additionally, you are allowed to take private health insurance to top up or replace state help. 

Education 

Basic education is highly valued in the country as all residents should compulsorily receive primary and secondary education, starting from age of six. The top universities of the country draw students from neighboring countries and beyond. 

Germany: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market93.2
Affordable1.7
Economically stable100
Family-friendly51.8
Income equality47
Politically stable91.4
Safe71.3
Public education system97.5
Public health system98.1

New Zealand 

The final name on this list of countries with the best quality of life is New Zealand. The beautiful island nation is scenic and peaceful and is the perfect place to settle down with your family. The country has progressed impressively in the decades following its independence and now has a respectable position in the world. 

Quality of Life 

The country wins full marks for offering a safe and stable environment to its residents. Though the progress of the nation is still ongoing, there is no denying it has come a long way since its independence. The standard of living is pretty high, and New Zealand is not the most affordable place to live in. 

Healthcare  

The publicly funded delivery system has helped New Zealand achieve universal health coverage. When it comes to medical infrastructure and patient-centric care, the country has always scored high points. 

Education 

The eight universities of New Zealand are ranked among the top 500 in the world. Moreover, it has one of the finest qualities of education among the OECD nations. As per the law, education is mandatory for students from six to 16 years. 

New Zealand: Quality of Life Attributes

Score over 100
A good job market50.6
Affordable4.3
Economically stable88.9
Family-friendly97.5
Income equality54.7
Politically stable93.1
Safe95.9
Public education system84.3
Public health system80

The Endnote on Countries With Best Quality of Life

So, if you have been seeking a better quality of life, healthcare, education, and more, these are some of the best countries to live in. These nations have stood out from the rest due to the consistent and effective progression towards a better tomorrow. 

Source: US News & World Report

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