There are several factors to be taken into account when listing the 10 most boring countries to live in because any place has its beauty. The real question one must ask oneself while attempting this task is “who is it boring for?”, because no two countries are the same, and as we know, neither are two people. It’s certainly not the same to be a man as being a woman residing in the Middle East, a Jew in some still very dubious Austrian cities, or, as from now, a Mexican in the USA.
The countries with the most chances to make the list of most boring countries to live in are affluent ones, which makes complete sense because, however nasty it may sound, boredom is mostly a privilege (as well as a curse). Take northern European countries, for example, they experience firsthand first-world boredom, which means nothing ever happens there, there’s no crime, no punishment, no nothing; there’s so much nothing going on that people kill themselves just to have something to do. In this same line of reasoning, third world countries are almost excluded from this list, because even though jumping from one economic/social/political crisis to another might not be exactly “fun,” it certainly keeps things entertaining. Furthermore, many of these have wonderful natural sites to offer, so check out our 10 Most Biodiverse Countries in the World.
There’s also religion and tradition based boredom, which is something we can see mainly in the Middle East, where many times law is set on the basis of Islamic religion, which forbids certain activities that are considered pleasurable in most places around the world, such as “free love” and libations. These places tend to be especially tedious for women, who are the biggest beneficiaries in the boredom industry, however in some places the laws are so severe that no one gets away with having fun.
Likewise, there are places that have been branded by history, as is the case of former communist nations. We’re talking about territory where fun was once basically prohibited, and I know this is speaking from a very occidental point of view, but being cut off from the rest of the world just can’t be fun. Imagine you are a country and your parents suddenly forbade you to see your friends because they had a fight with their parents on the basis that they disagreed on how to raise their children. Even though you might outgrow your childhood teachings, that stuff will stick with you.
Last but not least, I must also point out two factors that have an influence as well: size and remoteness. Being a small country takes a toll on your fun rate as well, just because of the fact that you run out of things to do fairly quickly.
Now, considering the previous, I shall explain my rating methodology, which might sound unorthodox, but read me out. Boring is the opposite of fun, right? And when you think fun, you think “party” –or at least I do – so I have decided to take into account the most important party factors that weigh in throwing of either an unforgettable feast or a total fiasco. The aspects to consider when creating the list of most boring countries to live in are the following: gender-balanced assistance rate (male-female ratio) and size of the house vs. assistance rate (demographics), host’s and guests’ view on “the babes” (social gender equality), amount of booze and party favors (legislation/availability of alcohol and drugs), games (activities and entertainment), house owner’s belief-based right of admittance (tolerance for other cultures and religions), manners of the participants (cultural behavioral factors), and OF COURSE: the weather. In each case, I’ll evaluate the most pertinent and highest weighting factors according to each individual country. Don’t worry, I’ll also provide you with all the raw data, so read on our list of most boring countries to live in and get ready to party!
Belgium represents the rich outcast cokeheads’ party, ranking number 10 in our most boring countries to live in. Seriously, they are the biggest cocaine consumers in the world, which you would think that would make the fun, but you’d be wrong. Unlike the surrounding cool party-hoods of France, Germany, and the Netherlands, Belgium is not particularly great at throwing the house out the window. Still, the hosts are quite good-looking, so it’s a good place to do some flirting, which is always fun.
They are filthy rich, so it’s not an absolute failure, the place is elegant and tasteful, the garden is chill, and the food is great, but there’s not much else to it. The biggest attraction is said to be Bruges, which is accurately described by Colin Farrell in the movie In Bruges: “If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn’t, so it doesn’t.” Seriously, that is exactly what that city feels like.
Size of the country: 30,528 km2
Male-female ratio: 0.96 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: It’s Western Europe, so women are as respected as men.
Activities and entertainment: Mostly food-related
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: Pretty good. 58% are Roman Catholic; 14% consists of Muslims, alternative Christians and the remaining religious minorities; 27% are agnostic, atheist, or plain non-believers.
Cultural behavioral factors: Here are “3 reasons you don’t have many Belgian friends”
These hosts are the type of guys everybody deeply hates and slightly envies. They have everything and they know it, sitting there on their high horses in front of an incredible, squeaky clean house and super gorgeous guest list. They are rich, smart, fair, and educated. They are the Ravenclaws of the world, except they are dull as hell and quite mean if you’re not one of them. If you decide to join them you’ll be well received and easily adapted, and very soon you’ll be bored out of your skull. No chatting, no jokes, no dancing, no feeling, and a little racism.
The bar is nice but expensive –everything’s expensive, but it doesn’t matter because virtually everyone has a well-paying job, that’s how well-off they are. You’ll never be cold indoors, but take a step outside and you’ll freeze to death within minutes. Still, there are a lot of beautiful things to see, and if you are a ski enthusiast you might even have fun… for a while.
Size of the country: 41,293.2 km2
Male-female ratio: 0.96 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: Not as equal as you think; for Switzerland, one of the most boring countries to live in, that is.
Alcohol and drugs: Very, VERY expensive, but what isn’t here? However, they have one of the best drug policies in the world.
Activities and entertainment: Mostly sports and landscapes.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: However “shiny-sparkly-squeaky-clean-balanced” this place is, if you take a closer look you’ll find xenophobia is actually quite common; the difference with xenophobia elsewhere is that they’re civil about it. 38% of the nationals are Roman Catholic, 26.1% Protestant, 5.8% other Christians, 5.1% Muslim, 0.2 Jewish, 1.3% includes Buddhists, Hindus, Bahais, and Sikhs, and 22.2% is non-religious.
Cultural behavioral factors: “Perfectionism, precision, and punctuality”; if you ain’t got that, don’t go there.
A small, super-fancy French-styled apartment (a part of which is absolutely medieval and in great conditions), perfectly located between Germany, Belgium, and France is where this dull party takes place. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, next on our list of most boring countries to live in is only 2,586 square kilometers, so you can go around it in a jiffy, and even though it is true that there’s a lot of beauty to be appreciated, but that runs out fairly fast. The people invited are hyper-posh and extremely well-off, but oh-so-boring. It has all the commodities of a modern city (because let’s not kid ourselves, that’s what it is), but that won’t keep you entertained if you live there. Fortunately, thanks to its size and location you can be in other –much more fun- parties in no time.
Size of the country: 2.586 km2 (SO SMALL)
Population: 537,039 (55.5% Luxembourgers and 44.5% of foreign nationality)
Density: 207,7 people/km2
Male-female ratio: 0.97 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: Too small and Western-European to care. It’s not the same for Vatican City, though.
Alcohol and drugs: Just stick to booze and smokes.
Activities and entertainment: Day one: do this. Day two: kill yourself.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: 72.4% practice forms of Christianity, 2.6% adhere to non-Christian religions, and 25% are either agnostic or atheist.
Cultural behavioral factors: Reserved and private.
You might have heard about the original host of this party, his was Vladimir Lenin. This is a Communist party (that worked out nicely), and the current host, Lukashenko, has been so for the last 22 years. He’s not a nice guy, he had his 2006 rival severely beat up by cops during a mob (which I must admit might be awful, but certainly not boring).
Most of the reviews I read could be synthesized by saying “it’s not even Russia, which is bad enough.” The place is not pretty and there’s very little to see, although the house does have a super nice garden, that is if you like forests (over 40% of the country is covered in forests). Belarus is 18th in the world suicide rate ranking, and it’s 7th on our list of most boring countries to live in.
Women are really pretty, but while the life expectancy is 74.9 years for women, it is only 63 for men, so the whole place is packed with old ladies. I don’t know if it’s grandma-related, but what the internet seems to actually like about Belarus are the people, it seems everyone makes friends there, so that’s nice. I might go to that party after all (not really).
Size of the country: 207,600 km2
Density: 46.3 people/km2
Male-female ratio: 0.87 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: Sexist in a communist way.
Alcohol and drugs: If you live here, you’re a drunk, period.
Activities and entertainment: Heavy drinking.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: 48.3% are Eastern Orthodox, 7.1% are Catholic, 3.5% practice other religions, and 41.1% are not religious. I like that last number.
Cultural behavioral factors: They proclaim themselves to be open-minded, but in the practice… not so much.
Kuwait is the country, 6th on our list of most boring countries to live in and an equivalent of a very small (less than 18000 km2) and wealthy (1 Kuwait Dinar = 3.28 US Dollars) apartment party in a very crowded and dangerous neighborhood (it’s right next to Saudi Arabia). For this reason, most of the guests weren’t actually invited, as much as they arrived while running away from way worse parties being thrown in the neighboring countries. Here, 72% of the population is composed of expatriates.
One small walk around the packed flat and you’ll have seen and done all there is to see or do, which is not much. It used to be a nice, exotic place, but most of its most interesting features have been torn down and replaced with senseless modernism.
Oh, and if you wish to see a lawn, or catch a breath of fresh air, think twice, because there’s not a park to be seen for miles, and no escaping from the relentless central heating, so the only fun – and air-conditioned – thing to do is going to the mall. There’s really nothing other than work and family, so if you were thinking of moving in country number 6 on our list of most boring countries to live in, maybe this super long and boring description will change your mind.
Size of the country: 17,820 km2
Density: 207.4 people/km2
Male-female ratio: 0.87 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: “Women in Kuwait are among the most emancipated women in the Middle East region.”
Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol is banned by law, but there are ways to get it, in embassies and such.
Activities and entertainment: Snorkeling looks nice.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: The fact that 72% of the population are expatriates (most of whom are Muslim, Hindu, Christian, or Buddhist), makes people very tolerant and very racist at the same time. Am I making sense here?
Cultural behavioral factors: Try not to get into a race fight in the country number 6 on our list of most boring countries to live in.
Did someone say “most boring countries to live in”?
If we stick with my party-country metaphorical line of reasoning, then we’ve all sort of been to Greenland at least once. You hear about a remote, huge house in the middle of nowhere that sounded like a great place to throw a party and your curiosity rose, but when you got there the heating system didn’t work, and no one showed up, except very few people you already knew. Then it began to snow, so you were stuck there (unless you had an airplane or helicopter up your sleeve), and finally the night took over for the following six months. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see the midnight sun before it disappears, or later on, the northern lights, which I must admit are insane.
You’d probably take a walk around the spacious, in many ways beautiful house, but as explained here, Greenland, one of the most boring countries to live in, has “no railways, no inland waterways, and virtually no roads between towns. Historically the major means of transportation has been by boat around the coast in summer and by dog sled in winter, particularly in the north and east.” And it’s just so darn cold you’d rather stay by the fire, curled up with the few other house guests who by this time are also your best friends because there aren’t enough people to be choosy. In case you’re still curious, here’s all you need to know.
Size of the country: 2,166,086 km2
Density: 0.026 people/km2 . It’s the emptiest country in the world.
Male-female ratio: 1,12 male(s)/female.
Social gender equality: Even though they’re pretty traditional on gender roles, this is changing. However, cities are notably more respectful of independent women than rural areas.
Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol is a severe problem (all over the arctic)
Activities and entertainment: Snow sports, landscapes, and drinking yourself blind in the country that ranked 5th on our list of most boring countries to live in.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: Surprisingly Christian, 96.08% belong to different forms of Christianity (mostly Protestant), 0.79% go for Inuit spiritual beliefs, and 2.48% are atheist or agnostic.
Cultural behavioral factors: They (understandably) take climate change very seriously, which of course affects people’s view of the world.
We are continuing our list of most boring countries to live in with Moldova that is a much worse version of Belarus, which we already stated is “not even Russia.” This is a teeny-tiny (33,846 km²), broken down, left behind residence is basically a haunted dollhouse where 3.559 million people live. Everything is gray, and the fog is constant. The hosts, unlike friendly Belarussians, are grumpy and standoffish, which is fairly understandable considering where they live. Or maybe it just seems that way because they have some specific norms and customs we’re unfamiliar with. There are no attractions, no games, no sightseeing, just gloom.
That’s all I can say about Moldova, such is the depth of its boredom.
Size of the country: 33,846 km²
Density: 105,2 people/km2
Male-female ratio: 0.91 male(s)/female
Activities and entertainment: looking at depressing old buildings.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: 93.3% are Eastern Orthodox, 0,5% are Catholic, 1.4% are non-religious, and 4.8% practice other religions.
Cultural behavioral factors: Reserved and respectful of other people’s private life (when sober).
3. North Korea
North Korea, next on our list of most boring countries to live in is sort of a mythical party no one is invited to, other than the locals –almost like a cult – and if by some miracle you manage to be admitted, you’ll be under the constant supervision of the phony host, and will only be allowed to visit approved spots, which are meant to display make-belief greatness and stability. The house is not very big, and the guests are many, but it still always looks empty. It’s seriously depressing.
Now, this phony host is a real party-pooper, who goes all out of his way to make the party as lame as he can, and he’s really touchy about it, too. He’s constantly throwing tantrums. The dress code is super strict, even haircuts are under legal regulation. And in case you were thinking of breaking the rules, you don’t really want to mess with these guys because they’ve got the largest bouncer troop in the world (5,889,000 paramilitary soldiers).
Size of the country: 120,540 km²
Density: 199.6 people/km2
Male-female ratio: 0.95 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: Highly patriarchal
Activities and entertainment: Hotel Ryugyiong a.k.a. “Hotel of Doom”
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: It has an astounding majority of atheists, accounting for 64.3% of the population. 16% adhere to Korean Shamanism, 13.5% practice Chondoism, 4.5% are Buddhist, and 1.7% are Christian.
Cultural behavioral factors: I don’t even know where to begin. You won’t fit in unless you were born in this country that ranked third on our list of most boring countries to live in. You won’t and that’s it.
2. Vatican City
Next on our list of most boring countries to live in we have the Vatican City,what college students would call “a total sausage fest”: no girls, nowhere, except for the nuns who are almost gender-neutral. In fact, there only 451 Vatican City nationals, and they’re all are celibate old men in robes, kind of like a very sad and saggy fraternity initiation ritual. There’s no bar or sign of nightlife, and everyone goes to bed early. There’s really nothing to do other than walk around a thimble-sized fancy-pansy loft with no parks to chill in, other than the Vatican’s astoundingly beautiful but private garden. There is, however, one attraction in one of the most boring countries to live in, what this country definitely is, and yes, you’ve guessed right: St. Peter’s Basilica, home of the Catholic Church. But how many times can you visit St. Peter’s? Just the endless queue is boring enough to blow your brains out (which by the way, you should not do there or you’ll earn an eternity-long unpaid leave of absence in hell). In any case, I bet like in any other place, if you’re cool enough you might skip the wait, and maybe being a Vatican VIP might not even be that bad, I bet they have the best wine. In fact, those rascals have “the highest per capita consumption of wine and it has nothing to do with holy mass.” Nevertheless, if you see a child run crying through the halls, you better ignore it if you value your life.
Size of the country: 0.44 km2 (Central Park is 7.75 times bigger)
Population: 451. “The Vatican citizenry consists almost entirely of two groups: clergy, most of whom work in the service of the Holy See, and a very few as officials of the state; and the Swiss Guard.”
Density: 1025 people/km2 (yes, that is correct, I did the math)
Male-female ratio: 15 male(s)/female (this is also correct, and it’s how hardcore porn begins)
Social gender equality: I’ll let you guess this one.
Alcohol and drugs: None of either.
Activities and entertainment: St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: You don’t really need to be tolerant where everyone thinks the same as you, right?
Cultural behavioral factors: Just read the Bible.
1. Saudi Arabia
Picture a party where the hosts are an extremely conservative majority of men (exceeding the women rate by 21%!), and so capricious they will only have the party be their way, no one else’s. So if you wish to be invited, you must accept Allāh as your only God (or shut your trap about it), and the only sport played, other than camel racing, is football because boys will be boys, even in the core of the Middle East. By the way, I mean real football, the one where your foot touches the ball.
Saying that women are not treated well here would be the understatement of the year. The dress code is pretty much as bad as it gets, you must cover yourself in black robes called abaya and cover your face even though the heater is always set on max; never EVER show your face in public or you’ll be in real trouble. Of course, you’ll have to take a hike to the party, because it would be a crime for a woman to drive a car.
This rules that make life dull for men as well, since they can’t even speak to a female they are not familiar with without risking getting into trouble. As you can imagine, almost nobody ever gets laid here, something that can only increase the general grumpiness.
Now, for the cherry on top: no booze, no weed, no nothing. You can actually get executed if found carrying drugs, even though the Prince does so himself. You might find tobacco, but not everywhere. Also, there’s pretty much nothing to do other than work and pray because there are no cinemas or theaters, and needless to say, no bars, so other than the mall, eating out (food’s supposed to be really good), or the occasional stoning, there’s not much entertainment. On that note here’s a super funny video from Monty Python’s Life of Brian on stoning, (although the scene doesn’t take place there, it’s worth watching).
Size of the country: 2,217,949 km2
Density: 16,3 people/km2. Still, considering most of the inland is desert “Some coast cities and oases have densities of more than 1,000 people per square kilometer”.
Male-female ratio: 1.21 male(s)/female
Social gender equality: Complete and absolute inequality in every aspect possible.
Alcohol and drugs: You may be able to buy some very expensive alcohol from a bootlegger, but that’s about it.
Activities and entertainment: Hitting your wife.
Tolerance for other cultures and religions: Ha. Ha-ha-ha. Ha.
Cultural behavioral factors: Punishment is severe, but you can get away with almost anything if you’ve got the status.
So, what do you think? Are these the most boring countries to live in, or what?