21 Countries Where They’ve Perfected the Art of Living Well


Not all countries are equal, but all of the ones on this list measuring quality of life are among the best to live.

Some have fantastic job markets, others have great health systems and cultures, while world-class education systems are found in others.


Aerial view of Singapore city at day
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The only Southeast Asian country on this list, Singapore has been booming in recent years thanks to the tech and pharmaceutical industry. With plenty of job opportunities, a low crime rate, and a good health system, Singapore is not only welcome to immigration, but it’s a great place to live. One downside to the country is that most of the population is crammed into the cities, with massive high-rise apartments becoming common, so this is not the place for anyone who likes rural country life.


Morning view of Amalfi cityscape on coast line of mediterranean sea, Italy
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Opposite Singapore is Italy, the first European country on this list, that’s been sliding backward over the last few years. Yet, thanks to its gorgeous countryside and culture, Italy will always remain an attractive destination. Life in the northern and southern parts of the country is dramatically different, but that’s a good thing, as there’s something for everyone.


Palace of Pena in Sintra. Lisbon, Portugal. Travel Europe, holidays in Portugal. Panoramic View Of Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal. Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal.
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If you’re a digital nomad, Portugal is one of the best possible countries to live in, thanks to its incredible coastal towns and low cost of living. Excellent business laws and policies, combined with a hands-off government, make Portugal an ideal home country for new companies. For those that aren’t nomads or entrepreneurs, the recovering local economy is starting to grow again after a 2011 recession, and again, the seaside is one of the best in the world.


View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
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Historically an economic powerhouse, Spain ranks in the top half of the world in almost every possible category. From the climate to the school system, Spain is a great location for anyone who wants to experience the European lifestyle. One downside is that because Spain is such a great place to live, it limits potential vacation destinations.


Paris Eiffel Tower and river Seine at sunset in Paris, France. Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks of Paris.
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France’s ranking comes with a caveat: its position in the top 20 is based on the country, and not specifically living in Paris. The French countryside is the ideal European countryside, filled with villages large and small. The French government offers plenty of social services, including a public pension, making it one of the most supportive countries on the planet.


Luxembourg city, the capital of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, view of the Old Town and Grund
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The smallest country on this list is also one of the wealthiest, which has resulted in Luxembourg enjoying a high standard of living for decades. With a population of under a million, the country is remarkably safe, with quality education and healthcare for all citizens. The catch is, because it’s so small, moving to Luxembourg is very difficult and cost-prohibitive; otherwise, it would be much higher in the ranking.


Colorful row houses with towering cathedral in background in the port town of Cobh, County Cork, Ireland
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Lush, rolling green hills dominate the Irish countryside and help contribute to the country’s undeniable mystique. As it turns out, with a booming economy, the island nation is also a trading hub that trickles down into all aspects of life, making Ireland one of the best countries to live in. Strong Irish traditions dating back centuries make Ireland an exceptionally great country for raising a family.


Mt. Fuji with red pagoda in autumn, Fujiyoshida, Japan
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One of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japan is home to the third-largest economy, which means it also has one of the best job markets. Safety, health, and education are all considered priorities in Japanese society, which is why it’s near the top of the rankings in all three.

United Kingdom

Big Ben, Westminster Bridge and red double decker bus in London, England, United Kingdom
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Now separate from the European Union, the United Kingdom has maintained its status as one of the most important nations in the world. Everything about the United Kingdom is fantastic, except for affordability. That’s the price to pay for access to the greatest education system.


Beautiful of Aerial panoramic view in a Autumn season at a historic city of Salzburg with Salzach river in beautiful golden evening light sky and colorful of autumn at sunset, Salzburger Land, Austria
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The hills are alive with the sound of one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Austria offers plenty of jobs and access to healthcare and education and is often ranked as one of the happiest countries. Come for the high standard of living, and stay for the centuries of artistic culture.


Brussels, Belgium. Grand Place. Market square surrounded by guild halls.
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The headquarters for NATO, Belgium, is understandably a very safe nation to live in. You must enjoy living in a city, though, as Belgium has become heavily urbanized. The catch is, that you’d also get to enjoy some of the finest beer, pretzels, and waffles ever made.

New Zealand

View of the Wellington Cable Car in New Zealand
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Perhaps the best country on this list for environmentalists, New Zealand has become a top destination for ex-pats around the world. Residents are none for their adventurous spirit, it is the birthplace of bungee jumping, after all, and love of the outdoors. With a mix of the urban and rural, there’s something in New Zealand for everyone.


Aerial view of Berlin skyline and Spree river in beautiful evening light at sunset in summer, Germany
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Germany has always overperformed relative to its size; the whole country is smaller than the state of Georgia. A booming economy makes Germany the number one job market in the world, and the well-funded social programs lead to an incredible quality of life. There’s a reason Germany is a top destination for ex-pats.


The city skyline of Sydney, Australia. Circular Quay and Opera House. touristic points, travel photo, sunny day
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Australia is the only developed country that has its own continent. It is a fun place for adventure seekers to live, and it helps if you enjoy the beach. Over 90% of the country’s population lives near the coast in the major cities. Outdoor life is a significant part of living in Australia, which helps contribute to the health and well-being of the population.


AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - Architecture of colorful old buildings alond Amstel canal in Amsterdam. Famous destination for traveller in Europe.
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Densely populated, the small country of the Netherlands is also home to over 20,000 miles of bike paths, making it one of the healthiest countries in Europe. Surrounded by rivers and with a bustling coastline, the Netherlands offers plenty of outdoor adventures while also including some of Europe’s greatest museums and cultural institutions.


Historical Thun city and lake Thun with snow covered Bernese Highlands swiss Alps mountains in background, Canton Bern, Switzerland
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If you can handle the cold climate, Switzerland is routinely listed as the best country in the world. It falls a little down the quality of life rankings as it is expensive to live in the mountainous nation. Famously neutral, Switzerland is welcoming to people from all around the world.


Scenic summer panorama of the Market Square (Kauppatori) at the Old Town pier in Helsinki, Finland
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The first of the Nordic countries on this list, Finland is a world leader in providing quality education to its citizens. The country is among the world’s safest, with low crime rates. Combined with extensive social programs, it’s no wonder Finland is often listed as one of the happiest countries in the world.


The popular Nyhavn area at Copenhagen, Denmark, with a street light and bicycles in front of the colorful houses
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Denmark has the best unemployment policy in the world. A government policy designed to help businesses get started and function, combined with extensive social support and employment programs, makes the small European country the best for businesses. That trickles down and means the quality of life is high, with citizens enjoying jobs, health, and education without the levels of worry found in other nations.


Aerial image of Stanley Park, Coal Harbor and Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Most Canadians live within 150 miles of the border with the United States, but the country differs dramatically from its southern neighbor. Extensive trade lets Canadians enjoy a very high standard of living, marred slightly by the rising cost of homes. Social programs, support for the environment, and ample jobs make America’s northern neighbor a great choice for anyone looking to move.


Amazing nature view with fjord and mountains. Beautiful reflection. Location: Scandinavian Mountains, Norway. Artistic picture. Beauty world. The feeling of complete freedom
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All the Nordic countries enjoy a high standard of living, and Norway is no exception, coming in at #2 on the quality of life list. Safe and with strong government support for health and education, Norwegians live long, happy lives without most of the stress common in other nations. It also helps if you enjoy skiing.


Stockholm old town (Gamla Stan) cityscape from City Hall top, Sweden
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Often competing with Finland for the title of “best education system,” Sweden enjoys the highest standard of living possible, with, on average, the happiest citizens as well. Even over 90% of Sweden’s trash is recycled, making it one of the cleanest, most environmentally friendly countries. When it comes to quality of life, Sweden is easily the top country.

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Outdoors portrait of middle age man at the spring, summer or autumn day.
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Picture this: you find a stack of cash. Do you pocket the unexpected windfall, or do you take the noble route and hand it in to the police?

In this scenario, a significant 47% of Americans admit they would keep the found money, assuming no one saw their stroke of luck. Interestingly, gender doesn’t play a big role, with both women (47.4%) and men (46.6%) expressing similar inclinations to be tempted by the cash.

The 11 Most Dishonest Cities in America

The 15 Countries That Have More Filthy Rich People Than Others

Cute young brunette girl in sunglasses walks along the Los Angeles waterfront with palm trees and streets on a summer day.
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There are rich people around the world, but there are some areas that have more wealthy residents than others. When looking at how many millionaires there are in each country, it isn’t even remotely even.

There are major wealth centers in certain countries that represent far more wealth than exists in other areas. It’s amazing how many millionaires there are; this is where they’re located.

The 15 Countries That Have More Filthy Rich People Than Others

The 15 States Bursting at the Seams With People

Farming and cultivations in Latin America. Portrait of middle aged hispanic farmer sitting proud in his tractor at sunset, holding the steering wheel. He looks at the camera and smiles happy.
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Some states have a high population density and many population centers. Others are mostly rural and may have little population. The difference between the top and bottom states in terms of population is enormous.

According to World Population Review, these are the top 15 states for population.

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15 Countries That You Will Probably Regret Traveling To


Portrait of confident young black woman looking serious at camera. Independent african american female on the city background.
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There are some countries where the majority of visitors love their experience. However, there are other countries that people come back from and never recommend to anyone. These countries often have circumstances that make the trip miserable so that visitors can’t wait to leave and go home.

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The 15 Poorest Cities in America

dirty and curly african american child looking at camera, poverty concept.
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When it comes to cities in America, huge disparities exist. Some are doing much better financially than others. There are a lot of cities today that are struggling economically and coming up short in a few areas.

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Author: Jonathan Klotz


Jonathan is a veteran librarian with over 16 years of experience in both academic and public libraries. Now, he’s a full-time writer, contributing to some of the most popular websites on the internet.


He also runs Positive Nerdery.

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