Putting together a 10 best countries to live list is almost impossible. It’s like any other list when trying to narrow down so many choices, like top ten songs or top ten movies.
With places to live, there are so many different factors involved, lists are going to depend on factors are emphasized.
For example, if you absolutely hate cold weather and snow, no matter what any list says, you are not going to be happy in Finland!
Let’s look at the 10 best countries to live based on a number of different factors as defined by the Organization for Economic Co-operations and Development.
The OECD has combined eleven specific factors in determining which countries could be considered the best places to live.
These factors include housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and the work – life balance.
Keep in mind, the list could change dramatically based on which of these factors you personally feel are the most important.
10 – United Kingdom – The UK ranks above average in numerous categories. Income, employment and education are all above the OECD averages.
Life expectancy is also slightly higher at 81 years in the United Kingdom versus 80, the OECD average.
UK citizens have a strong sense of community and are more satisfied with their lives than the OCED average as well.
9 – Iceland – Iceland is a great example of how the rankings can change depending on what you find most important.
Income levels in Iceland are lower than average. So is education.
However, a number of similar categories rank Iceland very highly; community, environment, health, safety, and overall life satisfaction all rank above average for Icelanders.
8 – Netherlands
While slightly less than the OCED average have achieved the equivalent of high school diploma, household income is above average.
Interestingly, while having above average incomes, people in the Netherlands work about 20% very hours per year than the average! Now that’s nice!
This most likely contributes to the Netherlands ranking highly in work – life balance, as well as life satisfaction.
7 – Denmark – Some of the higher rankings for Denmark include a sense of community, the environment, civic engagement, life satisfaction, and a very high work – life balance.
6 – The United States – The USA is more varied than some other top countries so it may appeal very strongly to some but not to others.
Things like housing, income and health rank highly.
However, the USA ranks rather low on the work – life balance scale. While income is above the average so are hours worked per year.
5 – Switzerland – Switzerland is another country with a much higher than average income, but unlike the United States, the Swiss work fewer hours per year than the average, giving them a much better work – life balance.
They have a higher life expectancy, better education and a high sense of community.
While they are very satisfied with the water quality, the level of atmospheric PM10 is slightly above average in Switzerland.
4 – Norway – another country with a good income that works significantly fewer hours than the average, giving Norway a good work – life balance level.
There is a high sense of community and a very high life satisfaction score as well.
Norway scores exceptionally well in terms of environmental factors, too.
3 – Canada – Canada is creeping toward the top spot, scoring above average in many factors such as income, employment, hours worked, education, health, safety and the environment.
2 – Sweden – Sweden ranks well in a variety of categories, including income, employment, education and life expectancy.
As far as environmental factors, the level of atmospheric PM10 is only 10 microgram per cubic meter, which is much lower than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter.
Atmospheric PM10 is a tiny pollutant that can cause damage to the lungs when breathed in.
Environmentally speaking, Sweden also polls way above the average when it comes to water quality, as 95% of Swedes say they are happy with the quality of their water, in comparison, the OECD average is only 84%.
1 – Australia – The Aussies take the top spot. Australia scored well across the board, with higher than average scores in just about all categories the OCED uses to determined the best places to live.
If you’re considering moving to another country, either permanently or even for just a year or two, you really take a closer look at the top 10 best countries to live.
Only you can decide which factors are the most important for you, but they all offer something and are worth exploring in more detail.