Best Countries To Live In 2020

When it comes to choosing the best country to live in, the answer you come up with might differ from the answers of other people, especially because it all depends on what you are using to define a country as being the best. Whether it’s happiness levels, overall financial stability, type of climate, or something completely unrelated to any of these suggestions, the definition of the number one country to live in is entirely subjective.

That said, there have been many surveys conducted regarding the overall consensus as to which countries are superior in terms of livability. Various news outlets and data collectors have unveiled their findings as to which countries people view as being the best to call home.

You may have heard of the method of conducting surveys of this magnitude before, but just in case you are less familiar with it, let’s review the process of figuring out which countries are the best ones to reside in, according to a variety of factors.

So, there is something called the Human Development Report, which is a summary comprised by the United Nations to express global satisfaction with life, as well as depict an overview of what it's like to be alive on Earth in this day and age. It is arguably one of the top resources for determining which countries have the happiest, healthiest, and most stable populations compared to everywhere else in the world. Essentially, the Human Development Report summarizes how people feel about our planet as a whole, and then it goes on to discuss, in detail, which countries are best to live in, thus comparing the most satisfied populations with the most unhappy countries in the world.

The variables that this official UN report takes into account include equality among genders, literacy, average life expectancy, and financial stability. For the sake of this article, we will abide by the regulations put forward by the United Nations in drafting and publishing this report on the best countries to live in around the world. If you have other factors that you deem to be important to consider, then by all means come to a conclusion of your own. These are the claims of one report, but that does not mean other countries are not amazing as well.

Without further ado, here are the top places to live according to the United Nations' Human Development Report, in ascending order:

  1. Norway
  2. Switzerland
  3. Australia
  4. Ireland
  5. Germany
  6. Iceland
  7. Sweden
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Singapore
  10. The Netherlands

So, the report determines that the best country to live in is Norway! Let’s talk about all the reasons why each country made the list, as well as the primary factor that sets Norway apart from all other countries around the globe.

1. Norway

The United Nations listed Norway as the best country to live in primarily because all of the factors the researchers took into consideration were good marks on behalf of Norway. The European country excels in all the areas that the UN looked at, which you could say is purely based on luck. However, even so, Norway is a good fit for the credentials that the United Nations took into account, which is impressive altogether. People in Norway live to be upwards of eighty-two years old, on average.

The UN attributes this wonderful statistic to the healthcare system that is in place in Norway. Norwegians are covered by a healthcare system funded by the general public, so unlike places such as the United States, residents of Norway receive healthcare and medical attention no matter what. It is not a burden or a privilege for people in Norway to get the professional help and annual checkups that are so necessary for overall health, leading to a higher life expectancy overall.

2. Switzerland

The health of people who live in Switzerland is outrageously impressive. Like Norway, Switzerland’s life expectancy was a factor the United Nations applauds Switzerland for, particularly due to the lack of fatal diseases present in the residents of Switzerland. Surprisingly, even though Switzerland was beat by Norway for the title of the number one country to live in, Switzerland’s life expectancy is slighter higher than that of Norway. People in Switzerland live to be about eighty-three years old. Switzerland is a prime example of how taking care of yourself will result in wondrous things, but this is a privilege that not all countries award their citizens.

3. Australia

As the second best country to live in according to the Human Development Report, Australia is praised by the United Nations for its emphasis on education and the importance of going to school. There is a healthy level of pressure to not only attend school, but to perform exceptionally and take pride in academic marks.

The average number of years that Australians attend school for is roughly twenty years old, meaning most Australian children remain enrolled in the education system until they graduate from an undergraduate college. As with every situation, there are exceptions, but the education in Australia accounts for more than five percent of the country’s GDP, so that’s something for which Australia deserves to be recognized.

4. Ireland

Ireland is an amazing place to live because it is one of the safest countries around the world. The levels of criminal activity in Ireland are lower than ever, and the prevalence of homicidal behavior is at a bare minimum.

5. Germany

Something that stands out a lot about Germany is that the country places an emphasis on education. Much like Australia, Germany values the education of its citizens. Nearly the entire population of Germany has received higher education, with only four percent of people in Germany having not endured college classes or post-graduate schooling.

6. Iceland

Iceland bodes well in terms of life expectancy and healthcare accessibility. The average lifetime of citizens in Iceland is around 83 years of age. There are still some places around the world where people do not live beyond forty years old, so Iceland is impressive for having a life expectancy of nearly double that of other countries.

7. Sweden

Sweden has a strong social welfare system, providing strong healthcare and free education. Sweden’s social model focuses on growth, equality, freedom, and security. Sweden also has great conditions for workers, such as a minimum of five weeks vacation and a government organization that supports entrepreneurs looking to start a company. Lastly, like the other Nordic countries, Sweden has very low rates of violent crime (1.14 incidents per 100,000 people) and ranks well for overall health and wellbeing.

8. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a major international financial center with a high quality of life. Hong Kong has very low taxes, the highest income tax at 17%, making it attractive for businessmen. Additionally, like many of the other countries on this list, Hong Kong has very low crime rates despite being a very densely populated urban area. Many believe that Hong Kong is the perfect blend of East and West cultures with colonial buildings, temples, and ancient traditions and festivals living side-by-side with modern public transportation and tall glass skyscrapers.

9. Singapore

Singapore earned the title of being the fifth best country to live in, alongside the European country of Denmark. Even though the two countries are on an even playing field, Singapore still holds the sixth line of the list of best countries to call home. Singapore received high levels of recognition from the UN especially because of the country’s life expectancy rates and the overall attention paid to the healthcare system.

10. The Netherlands

The Netherlands compares to Denmark in the sense that the Netherlands does not have as high of a wage gap as many countries around the world still do. In fact, the inequality rate among wages in the Netherlands is roughly 12.4% which sounds high, but if you return to the data about the wage gap percentage of the United States, you’ll find that the Netherlands still out does the USA in terms of fair pay across the board.

Best Countries To Live In 2020

Country Human Development Index Population 2020
Niger0.35424,206,644
Central African Republic0.3674,829,767
South Sudan0.38811,193,725
Chad0.40416,425,864
Burundi0.41711,890,784
Sierra Leone0.4197,976,983
Burkina Faso0.42320,903,273
Mali0.42720,250,833
Liberia0.4355,057,681
Mozambique0.43731,255,435
Eritrea0.443,546,421
Yemen0.45229,825,964
Guinea Bissau0.4551,968,001
Dr Congo0.45789,561,403
Guinea0.45913,132,795
Gambia0.462,416,668
Ethiopia0.463114,963,588
Djibouti0.476988,000
Malawi0.47719,129,952
Ivory Coast0.49226,378,274
Haiti0.49811,402,528
Afghanistan0.49838,928,346
Sudan0.50243,849,260
Comoros0.503869,601
Togo0.5038,278,724
Senegal0.50516,743,927
Benin0.51512,123,200
Uganda0.51645,741,007
Madagascar0.51927,691,018
Lesotho0.522,142,249
Mauritania0.524,649,658
Rwanda0.52412,952,218
Nigeria0.532206,139,589
Zimbabwe0.53514,862,924
Tanzania0.53859,734,218
Papua New Guinea0.5448,947,024
Solomon Islands0.546686,884
Cameroon0.55626,545,863
Pakistan0.562220,892,340
Nepal0.57429,136,808
Myanmar0.57854,409,800
Angola0.58132,866,272
Cambodia0.58216,718,965
Zambia0.58818,383,955
Sao Tome And Principe0.589219,159
Kenya0.5953,771,296
Equatorial Guinea0.5911,402,985
Ghana0.59231,072,940
Laos0.6017,275,560
Vanuatu0.603307,145
Republic Of The Congo0.6065,518,087
Bangladesh0.608164,689,383
Kiribati0.612119,449
Bhutan0.612771,608
Honduras0.6179,904,607
Micronesia0.627115,023
India0.641,380,004,385
Namibia0.6472,540,905
Guatemala0.6517,915,568
Tajikistan0.659,537,645
Cape Verde0.654555,987
Guyana0.654786,552
Nicaragua0.6586,624,554
Morocco0.66736,910,560
Kyrgyzstan0.6726,524,195
El Salvador0.6746,486,205
Iraq0.68540,222,493
Palestine0.6865,101,414
Bolivia0.69311,673,021
Indonesia0.694273,523,615
Vietnam0.69497,338,579
Egypt0.696102,334,404
Philippines0.699109,581,078
South Africa0.69959,308,690
Moldova0.74,033,963
Gabon0.7022,225,734
Paraguay0.7027,132,538
Libya0.7066,871,292
Turkmenistan0.7066,031,200
Marshall Islands0.70859,190
Belize0.708397,628
Uzbekistan0.7133,469,203
Samoa0.713198,414
Dominica0.71571,986
Maldives0.717540,544
Botswana0.7172,351,627
Suriname0.72586,632
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines0.723110,940
Tonga0.726105,695
Jamaica0.7322,961,167
Jordan0.73510,203,134
Tunisia0.73511,818,619
Dominican Republic0.73610,847,910
Fiji0.741896,445
Mongolia0.7413,278,290
Colombia0.74750,882,891
Saint Lucia0.747183,627
Peru0.7532,971,854
Ukraine0.75143,733,762
China0.7521,439,323,776
Ecuador0.75217,643,054
Algeria0.75443,851,044
Armenia0.7552,963,243
Thailand0.75569,799,978
Azerbaijan0.75710,139,177
Lebanon0.7576,825,445
Brazil0.759212,559,417
Venezuela0.76128,435,940
Bosnia And Herzegovina0.7683,280,819
Sri Lanka0.7721,413,249
Grenada0.772112,523
Mexico0.774128,932,753
Cuba0.77711,326,616
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.77853,199
Georgia0.783,989,167
Antigua And Barbuda0.7897,929
Trinidad And Tobago0.7841,399,488
Albania0.7852,877,797
Serbia0.7878,737,371
Panama0.7894,314,767
Mauritius0.791,271,768
Turkey0.79184,339,067
Costa Rica0.7945,094,118
Seychelles0.79798,347
Iran0.79883,992,949
Palau0.79818,094
Kazakhstan0.818,776,707
Barbados0.8287,375
Malaysia0.80232,365,999
Kuwait0.8034,270,571
Uruguay0.8043,473,730
Bahamas0.807393,244
Belarus0.8089,449,323
Romania0.81119,237,691
Bulgaria0.8136,948,445
Montenegro0.814628,066
Russia0.816145,934,462
Oman0.8215,106,626
Argentina0.82545,195,774
Croatia0.8314,105,267
Hungary0.8389,660,351
Chile0.84319,116,201
Bahrain0.8461,701,575
Latvia0.8471,886,198
Portugal0.84710,196,709
Saudi Arabia0.85334,813,871
Brunei0.853437,479
Slovakia0.8555,459,642
Qatar0.8562,881,053
Andorra0.85877,265
Lithuania0.8582,722,289
United Arab Emirates0.8639,890,402
Poland0.86537,846,611
Cyprus0.8691,207,359
Greece0.8710,423,054
Estonia0.8711,326,535
Malta0.878441,543
Italy0.8860,461,826
Spain0.89146,754,778
Slovenia0.8962,078,938
France0.90165,273,511
Israel0.9038,655,535
South Korea0.90351,269,185
Luxembourg0.904625,978
Austria0.9089,006,398
Japan0.909126,476,461
Liechtenstein0.91638,128
Belgium0.91611,589,623
New Zealand0.9174,822,233
Finland0.925,540,720
United Kingdom0.92267,886,011
United States0.924331,002,651
Canada0.92637,742,154
Denmark0.9295,792,202
Netherlands0.93117,134,872
Singapore0.9325,850,342
Hong Kong0.9337,496,981
Sweden0.93310,099,265
Iceland0.935341,243
Germany0.93683,783,942
Ireland0.9384,937,786
Australia0.93925,499,884
Switzerland0.9448,654,622
Norway0.9535,421,241