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15 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

We all want to live in the best possible place on the Earth, that’s why we decided to find the countries with the highest quality of life index.  Although you may think that it is always debatable to say that some countries are better for life than the others as we all have a passion for different things, and not every environment suits us all, there are some factors that should always be considered when it comes to quality of life. I am sure there are some of you who can’t imagine their life far away from the mountains and skiing, just as there are those who can’t imagine living in a place without the ocean nearby, but we all also look for different things in one country. Some of those things are – standard of living, job opportunities, safety, quality of healthcare. These are the things we can all relate to, right?

I mean, I agree that living next to the ocean where the weather is perfect all year around sound like a dream come true, but if you can’t find a suitable job there, if there are no good schools your kid can enroll, then what are we talking about here? Like everything in life, it all comes down to a balance. You have to know what your priorities are. And we really tried to come up with a list that ranks the countries according to important parameters. That’s why we relied on three different rankings – OCED Better Life Index, Numbeo’s Quality of Life Ranking, and Social Progress Index.

When taking into account OCED Better life index we have selected all given categories as important – housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work life balance. Numbeo based its ranking on the purchasing power index, healthcare index, house price to income ratio, climate index, cost of living index, traffic commute time index, safety index, and pollution index. While Social Progress Index has taken into account Basic Human Index, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. More about these categories that are not standard and commonly known, you can find here. To create our list using these sources, we first selected 25 countries with the highest quality of life ranking on Numbeo, and then used the other two sites to rank them and got the average ranking from all three sources.

15 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Vlada Z/

What is interesting though is that not all the sources cover all the countries, but those that have made it onto our list are usually always at the top in every ranking. The only country in question is Iceland, which wasn’t included in Numbeo’s ranking, but got pretty good ranking on the other two sources. So, we searched a bit and found the quality of life index for the country’s capital, Reykjavik, which amounts to 163.06. If we are to take this as the index of the entire country, and calculate the average ranking for it, Iceland would be placed 13th on our list. In the end, we decided not to include it, but you may want to research further more about the standard of living in Iceland if you are attracted to its unusual and breathtaking nature.

When it comes to this type of lists it is always fun to compare them with previous years, and see if there are any drastic changes. If you want to know the countries with the highest standard of living in 2015, or in other words – countries with the best quality of life in 2015, then head on to our previous list of the countries with the highest quality of life index.  It is always interesting to know the other side of the spectrum, countries with the lowest standard of living, which are (based on the Human Development Index 2016) Central African Republic, Niger, and Chad.

What about the previous year? Are the countries at the top always the same? More or less. I guess you all presume that on these types of lists, northern countries, for example, must be always present. And you are right. They just swap places from year to year.  If we are to take a look only at OCED Better Life Index, countries with the highest standard of living 2016 were Norway, Australia and Denmark. And if, let’s say, we take into account only Numbeo’s quality of life index, then the countries with the highest standard of living 2017, are Austria, Germany, and Denmark. Since we wanted to find the best quality of life countries 2017, we thought it was better to combine all three rankings (mentioned, and explained above).

So, without further ado, let’s see which are the countries with the highest quality of life index, what are the average life expectancies of their residents, and how they rank in the World Happiness Report 2017. Starting with number 15.