Where on earth the happiest people reside? Which one is the best place to live in / relocate to? If you have these many questions racing through your mind continue to read on. Starting from 2013, every year our team, Lifestyle9 releases the list “Best countries to live in the world” based on the landmark surveys and authentic reports from the trust worthy sources around the world. Every year it goes viral and takes the internet by storm. We have come a long way since our first report and this year we took our research to the next level.
Figures apart, each one of these countries has its own traits that can make anyone astonished. We tell you those facts along the way. Now, let’s start our journey in the reverse chronological order.
Lifestyle9 Score – 6.39
- Netherlands enters this list with the best scores in infrastructure, security, health, education and freedom.
- It has highest numbers of prestigious universities that make it a perfect place for international students.
- Holland is known as the bicycle capital of the world. Regardless of the seasons and time,you have to cycle everywhere to get around the cities. Not to mention, it keeps them healthy and happy.
- It is very common for students at Netherlands to take up a master Degree after their Bachelor. After all, employers at this country only consider what you did in your master’s, they hardly consider the Bachelor’s degree. So students here have the luxury of pursuing their interest in their first degree.
- Netherlands has many exciting attractions. If you ever get a chance to visit Netherlands, never come back without visiting its most charming city, Travellers who had been into multiple countries claim, no other city comes close to the charm of Amsterdam.
9. New Zealand
Lifestyle9 score – 7.48
- Surprisingly, only 5% of New Zealand population is human. The rest 95% are animals.
- As per Corruptions Perception Index, New Zealand is taking the lead in the list of least corrupted countries.
- World’s longest place’s name is “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu”, which is a hill located in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.
- One of the major tourist attractions is the Sky Tower in Auckland. It is 1076 feet high. It offers wonderful views till a distance of eight kilometers in any direction. In the Sky Tower, you have 360 degrees revolving Orbit restaurant.
- Factors like economical freedom, employment, prosperity, lack of corruption and enhanced life quality have raised New Zealand as one of the best countries to live in the world.
- If you want to enjoy clean air and water head onto New Zealand.
- New Zealand holds the honor of being among the few countries which have two national anthems – God Defend New Zealand and God Save the Queen.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.49
- Believe it or not, Qatar is the second richest country in the world. It had pushed Luxembourg to second spot in 2010 and since then it is posing as a tough competitor for the No.1 spot. 2010 is a significant year for this small country, as it gained the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Thus, becoming the first Middle East country to host the tournament.
- Apart from being one of the few countries to have the lowest tax rates, it also holds the distinction of having an unemployment rate of 0.1% in June 2013, as well as lowest illiteracy rates in the Arab speaking world. If you are a person who is interested in history and nature, then this small country has some places such as Al Zubara Fort and Museum, Dhal Al Misfir (deep cave), Desert Roses (truly, gypsum forms in the shape of a rose), Khor Al Adaid (popularly known as the Inland Sea).
- The country is ruled by the Al Thani family, since 1825. Foreign tourists are warned not to venture outside in revealing outfits. In 2014, a modesty campaign was undertaken to make tourists adhere to the dress code. Women tourists are requested/advised not to wear miniskirts, sleeveless dresses, leggings and tight/short clothes during public outings. In case of men, they are advised not to wear only shorts and singlets.
- The number of millionaires in Qatar is more (close to 14%). Its Gross Domestic Product is high compared to other countries, but it has to be noted that 94 percent of the population in Qatar are migrant workers from many parts of the world.
- It is mandatory for every child to attend Government education schools from Kindergarten to High school. Recently, Qatar has built a campus ‘Education City,’ which is used to host local branches of reputed Colleges such as Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Weill Cornell Medical College and other International Institutions.
- Qatar follows the Shariat law and stoning to death is a legal punishment in this country.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.5
The reason why Switzerland is listed in the best countries to live in the world is because “It provides better life quality, trust, safety, wealth & health to all its citizens, even including the ones living in remote places”. It is renowned for its tranquility, safety, punctuality and reliability. This is how people of Switzerland have turned their cities into unimaginable high-tech societies in a short span of time. Switzerland is one of the most modern and stylish tourism-offering nations in the world.
- Here, with 7.2 million population and many different languages, people of Switzerland enjoy the perks of diversity in a much sportive way.
- If I had to talk about countries with stable economies, Switzerland often makes it to top 5. Political stability and long-term monetary security have made Switzerland a safe place for investors.
- Since the country has higher labor specialization and is known to be small (in size), trade and industry are keys to its economic livelihood.
- The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) has its headquarters in Switzerland.
- The country is well-respected for its world famous watch brands (Tag Heuer, Rado, Omega and Rolex). Another famous aspect which they score over other countries is in the form of Swiss Chocolates, Cheese.
- Swiss Banks are well-known for protecting the privacy of their clients.
- If you are a mountaineer, this country should be your pick, as it has some of the highest peaks and glaciers in Central Alps.
- Known as the “Pride of Switzerland” Zurich city has the best quality of life and wealthy aspects in every form.
- Home to European Organization for Physics Research (CERN), the Large Hadron Collider was designed in 2008 for getting a reply to the formation of Universe and the Big Bang Theory.
- This country is also widely known for its multi-purpose tool – the Swiss pocket knives, each blade specifically designed for a purpose.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.51
- Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world. But it is not the only reason for which it has secured the title of best country to live in the world.
- Although it is one of the smallest countries, it has the highest GDP in the world.
- Area of Luxembourg is just 2,586.4 Kms.
- Since Luxembourg has many beautiful places like Vianden Castle, Butterfly Garden, Red Rock Skate Park, which attract millions of tourists every year. Thus, it boosts the economy of the nation.
- It does not have any navy as it is bordered by North East Germany in the East, France in the South and Belgium in the West.
- Skype, the Internet free message and call software, has its headquarter stationed in Luxembourg.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.52
- The literacy percentage of Iceland is 99.9, where you can find people buying and reading most books.
- In the Forbes list of “top 10 cleanest countries”, Iceland hits the top position with a score of 93.5.
- It retains its position as among the top fifteen wealthiest countries in the world.
- Icelanders have no army, instead they have extraordinary rescue teams and coast guards.
- In the year 2011, GDP of Iceland was $12.3 billion. Since there is an abundant resource of hydroelectric and geothermal energy in Iceland, electricity supply has never been an issue here. In fact, it is the world’s biggest electricity producer.
- The states of Iceland offer 9 months of fully paid maternity leave for moms. This leave duration could also be shared by both the parents as they please.
- The crime rate in Iceland is merely zero, which is exactly why their banks hardly have any police officer.
- World’s cleanest air can be breathed in Iceland. Safety and health measures have made Iceland to be in the list of top 10 best countries to live in.
- Societies in Iceland provide an overwhelming priority in nurturing happiness among people.
- However, none of these can be possible without their self-confidence.
- Iceland can be described as a country having active volcanoes and geysers. The word “Geyser” has originated from the age-old first described hot water in Iceland called as “Geysir”. This country is the 18th largest island in the world.
- Recently, the country achieved the rare honour of being named as “the most peaceful country in the world for the seventh consecutive year” by The Institute of Economics and Peace.
- One of the greatest Icelandic writers to make a mark in the field of English literature was Halldór Laxness, having won the award for Nobel Prize in Literature (1955).
- The Icelanders have fiercely protected their language for over 1000 years and have retained the same dialect with minor modifications.
- The national game is handball. Icelanders got a shot in the arm when their team got the second place in 2008 Summer Olympics.
- The Icelanders travel mostly by car as there is no railway system.
- They have won the Miss World title four times and their Parliament is more than one thousand years old.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.62
- Regardless of where they live, Australians are so good in lending their hands for help whenever required. This special characteristic of Australians has made this country hit the list of best countries to live in the world.
- Per capita income, longer life expectancy and improved level of education are factors that have helped Australia reach the coveted Fourth position.
- Even though Australia is a home town to many deadly animals like snakes and sharks, it is a home to some interesting and not-seen-anywhere animals like Australian Dingo and Wombat. If not in Australia, where else can you see these rare animals? Experience the beauty of kangaroos hopping on the go.
- According to the 2015 reports, Australia is claimed to be one of the biggest capitalist economies in the world. It has an overall GDP of $1 trillion.
- It is also home to the world’s most reputed companies like Macquarie Bank, ANZ, AMP, Telstra, Woolworths etc.
- Australia is blessed with uncountable natural gifts like Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island and so on. There wouldn’t be a bigger thing in this world than experiencing those jaw-dropping views at least once in your lifetime. Some of the tourist attractions in Australia are the 19 World Heritage sites, The Pinnacles (limestone formations in Nambung National Park), Flinders Ranges (mountain range), Blue Mountains etc. Animals – you can find plenty of them on the beaches such as sea lions, penguins and diverse birds.
- In 2003, the literacy rate in this country was estimated to be 99 percent. Schooling is compulsory from the age of five to sixteen (the duration can vary among different states).
- The main form of social security assistance for elderly or aged people are the wife pension, partner allowance, aged pension and mature age allowance.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.7
- Norwegians are usually pretty and well dressed.They are often known as the best party-goers in the whole world, especially youngsters.
- Shipping has always been a great support for Norway’s export zone, but Norway’s much immense economic growth has been backed by its natural resources, even including hydroelectric power, fisheries, petroleum exploration and production.
- Norway’s oil manufacturing (in tons) and its strong socialist system contributes to the wealth of every citizen here. Almost everyone here seems to have his or her own means of transportation.
- Most of them here are seen holding either an iPhone or other high-end smartphones costing over 500 buck.
- Norwegians are healthy because they eat healthy foods, drink clean water and breathe fresh air.
- Norway is well admired for its nature. Whether it is a park, mountain or forest, just take a walk around and you will know how it feels like when you relax beside Mother Nature.
- Every country has factors of significance and Norway is no exception to this aspect. Its Laerdal road tunnel has been termed as the longest tunnel in the world (24.5 kilometers or in miles it comes to 15.2). Its two fjords are world-famous (the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord) and featuring on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- In Norway you can enjoy 24 hours of Sunlight during the summer.
- Nobel Prize for Medicine was won by two Norwegians, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser in 2014. As per Alfred Nobel’s will (founder of Nobel Prize), the Nobel Prize for Peace every year is given to the person who will be selected by Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.82
- Sweden offers 16 months of parental leave and pays 80% of their salary too. Without any doubt, parents get loads of time to spend with their children. It is the reason Sweden is considered as one of the best countries to live and see your kids grow up.
- Sweden offers a complete free day care service. In other words, we can state that it is heavily subsidized. Although, the day care costs around $120 per month, you can reimburse it with the Government’s child benefits plans.
- Sweden’s economy is aided by hydro-power, iron ore and timber. However, their major industries include telecommunications, industrial machines, chemical goods, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, precision equipment, home appliances, steel, iron and forestry.
- The National Institute of Economic Research anticipates Sweden’s GDP growth to be 1.8%, 3.1% and 3.4% for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
- Surprisingly, people of Sweden are not affected even by its extreme weather conditions. They are still seen ice skating, running down, skiing, sledding, taking long walks and sipping a yummy hot coffee in the cold times.
- Sweden serves as the best country for women too. If it is safer for women to live here, then it is obviously best for others too.
- Throughout Sweden, you can breathe fresh and clean air. Sweden is admired for its blissful nature.
- Sweden has a sound public transportation system. Trains and buses cover each and every place, right from big cities to remote Swedish villages.
- Sweden has a strong independent media and this results in most transparent politics.
- Volvo, the car has its headquarters in Sweden.
- It is a fact that certain parts of the country do not get sunlight in winter and so you have to drive with your headlights in the middle of the afternoon.
Lifestyle9 score – 7.83
Have you ever heard of countries where murder and other crime rates are almost zero? Can there be any other country offering a pollution-free and corruption-free life with stable economic growth even at recession times? If you want to live in such a country, head on to Denmark because it is the only country that offers almost all the mentioned facilities and securities.
- According to the world happiness report, Denmark is crowned as the happiest country in the world”.Thus, it is the best country to live in the current date.
- As of January 2016, Denmark is one of the countries with top credit rating. Main exports from Denmark include machinery, meat products, chemicals, fuels, instruments.
- Every Danish family enjoys a total of “52 weeks of parental leave”, where mothers are given 18 weeks of paid leave and fathers are allowed to take 2 weeks of fully paid leave.
- After giving birth, nearly 79% of women rejoin their previous level of employment. This figure is quite higher when compared to that of American women, which is only 59%.
- Denmark is one of the best countries to see your kids grow up. Little ones are given access to either free or low-cost childcare.
- Every Danish citizen receives an outstanding health care system since it is his or her basic right.
- Denmark regularly ranks in the list of top 10 countries when it comes to gender equality.
- They are much concerned about their city’s surroundings too. 50% of Danish people contribute to the betterment of their cities by doing some good deeds. For example, they use bicycles to reach their school and work. Now, this shows how protective they are, towards their environment. The government offers an amount of 7.8 cents per kilometer to people traveling by bicycle instead of a car. By following the rules, they are not only taking care of their surroundings but also lessen the rate of accidents, noise and air pollution from taking place.
- Copenhagen’s Zoo located in Frederiksberg area is widely known for its variety of species of animals. Other famous places are Louisiana Museum of Modern Arts. It has modern art paintings by world renowned artists such as Max Ernst, Henry Moore, Giacometti, Calder, Picasso and Warhol. 443 is the number of islands which this country has and only 76 are used by humans.
- Does the name ‘Dannebrog’ ring a bell in your mind? Well, it is the National Flag of Denmark, one of the ancient flags still retained since 1219.
- It has over 14 Nobel Laureates, 4 in English Literature, in Physiology and Medicine it has secured 5, and Peace Prize is 1. It also holds the second position in the world for freedom of the press.
- The world’s popular building toys “Lego” are from Denmark.
Happiness is the key in deciding the best countries and Happiness is always a choice that any one can make. Regardless of where you are and what you are going through, you can still choose to be happy, you can still choose to smile. Keep recalling the quote, “Accept what you can’t change and change what you can’t accept” and make sure you are happy at the end of the day.
This feature originally appeared in Lifestyle9.