Best Countries To Live In 2021

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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.

Arguably the most comprehensive and practical analysis of which countries are best to live in comes from the Human Development Report. Composed by the United Nations, this annual report expresses global satisfaction with life, offering an overview of what it's like to be alive on Earth in this day and age. It is easily 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 descending order:

1 - Norway
2 - Ireland (tie)
2 - Switzerland (tie)
4 - Iceland (tie)
4 - Hong Kong, China (SAR)(tie)
6 - Germany
7 - Sweden
8 - Australia (tie)
8 - Netherlands (tie)
10 - Denmark

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 (tie). 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.

2 (tie). 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.

4 (tie). Hong Kong, China

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.

4 (tie). 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.

6. 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.

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 (tie). Australia

As the eighth 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.

8 (tie). 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.

10. Denmark

Denmark rounds out the top ten countries to live in, and it's easy to see why. For starters, "social trust", which measures people's trust in one another, their government, and public institutions such as police and hospitals, is very high in Denmark. Moreover, health care and education (even college) are completely free to all citzens. While Denmark is a global leader in industries including shipping, design, and architecture, it is also a green-forward country. Even in the capital city of Copenhagen, bikes often outnumber automobiles, and the country is constantly developing new methods of living cleaner and greener. Finally, the Danes have given the world the concept of "hygge" (pronounced "hooga"), a warm, very human term for time spent away from the hustle and bustle, peacefully relaxing and appreciating life's smaller joys, often with family and/or friends.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest human development indexes:

  1. Norway (0.957)
  2. Switzerland (0.955)
  3. Ireland (0.955)
  4. Hong Kong (0.949)
  5. Iceland (0.949)
  6. Germany (0.947)
  7. Sweden (0.945)
  8. Australia (0.944)
  9. Netherlands (0.944)
  10. Denmark (0.94)

Best Countries To Live In 2021

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Best Countries To Live In 2021

Ranking Country Human Development Index 2021 Population
1Norway0.9575,465,630
2Ireland0.9554,982,907
2Switzerland0.9558,715,494
4Iceland0.949343,353
4Hong Kong0.9497,552,810
6Germany0.94783,900,473
7Sweden0.94510,160,169
8Netherlands0.94417,173,099
8Australia0.94425,788,215
10Denmark0.945,813,298
11Finland0.9385,548,360
11Singapore0.9385,896,686
13United Kingdom0.93268,207,116
14New Zealand0.9314,860,643
14Belgium0.93111,632,326
16Canada0.92938,067,903
17United States0.926332,915,073
18Austria0.9229,043,070
19Liechtenstein0.91938,250
19Israel0.9198,789,774
19Japan0.919126,050,804
22Slovenia0.9172,078,724
23Luxembourg0.916634,814
23South Korea0.91651,305,186
25Spain0.90446,745,216
26France0.90165,426,179
28Malta0.895442,784
29Estonia0.8921,325,185
29Italy0.89260,367,477
31United Arab Emirates0.899,991,089
32Greece0.88810,370,744
33Cyprus0.8871,215,584
34Lithuania0.8822,689,862
35Poland0.8837,797,005
36Andorra0.86877,355
37Latvia0.8661,866,942
38Portugal0.86410,167,925
39Slovakia0.865,460,721
40Hungary0.8549,634,164
40Saudi Arabia0.85435,340,683
42Bahrain0.8521,748,296
43Croatia0.8514,081,651
43Chile0.85119,212,361
45Qatar0.8482,930,528
46Argentina0.84545,605,826
47Brunei0.838441,532
48Montenegro0.829628,053
49Romania0.82819,127,774
50Palau0.82618,169
51Kazakhstan0.82518,994,962
52Russia0.824145,912,025
53Belarus0.8239,442,862
54Turkey0.8285,042,738
55Uruguay0.8173,485,151
56Bulgaria0.8166,896,663
57Panama0.8154,381,579
58Barbados0.814287,711
58Bahamas0.814396,913
60Oman0.8135,223,375
61Georgia0.8123,979,765
62Costa Rica0.815,139,052
62Malaysia0.8132,776,194
64Kuwait0.8064,328,550
64Serbia0.8068,697,550
66Mauritius0.8041,273,433
67Seychelles0.79698,908
67Trinidad And Tobago0.7961,403,375
69Albania0.7952,872,933
70Cuba0.78311,317,505
70Iran0.78385,028,759
72Sri Lanka0.78221,497,310
73Bosnia And Herzegovina0.783,263,466
74Saint Kitts And Nevis0.77953,544
74Grenada0.779113,021
74Ukraine0.77943,466,819
74Mexico0.779130,262,216
78Antigua And Barbuda0.77898,731
79Peru0.77733,359,418
79Thailand0.77769,950,850
81Armenia0.7762,968,127
82North Macedonia0.7742,082,658
83Colombia0.76751,265,844
84Brazil0.765213,993,437
85China0.7611,444,216,107
86Saint Lucia0.759184,400
86Ecuador0.75917,888,475
88Azerbaijan0.75610,223,342
88Dominican Republic0.75610,953,703
90Moldova0.754,024,019
91Algeria0.74844,616,624
92Lebanon0.7446,769,146
93Fiji0.743902,906
94Dominica0.74272,167
95Maldives0.74543,617
95Tunisia0.7411,935,766
97Saint Vincent And The Grenadines0.738111,263
97Suriname0.738591,800
99Mongolia0.7373,329,289
100Botswana0.7352,397,241
101Jamaica0.7342,973,463
102Jordan0.72910,269,021
103Paraguay0.7287,219,638
104Tonga0.725106,760
105Libya0.7246,958,532
106Uzbekistan0.7233,935,763
107Bolivia0.71811,832,940
107Philippines0.718111,046,913
107Indonesia0.718276,361,783
110Belize0.716404,914
111Samoa0.715200,149
111Turkmenistan0.7156,117,924
113Venezuela0.71128,704,954
114South Africa0.70960,041,994
115Palestine0.7085,222,748
116Egypt0.707104,258,327
117Marshall Islands0.70459,610
117Vietnam0.70498,168,833
119Gabon0.7032,278,825
120Kyrgyzstan0.6976,628,356
121Morocco0.68637,344,795
122Guyana0.682790,326
123Iraq0.67441,179,350
124El Salvador0.6736,518,499
125Tajikistan0.6689,749,627
127Guatemala0.66318,249,860
128Nicaragua0.666,702,385
129Bhutan0.654779,898
130Namibia0.6462,587,344
131India0.6451,393,409,038
132Honduras0.63410,062,991
133Bangladesh0.632166,303,498
134Kiribati0.63121,392
135Sao Tome And Principe0.625223,368
136Micronesia0.62116,254
137Laos0.6137,379,358
138Eswatini0.6111,172,362
138Ghana0.61131,732,129
140Vanuatu0.609314,464
141Timor Leste0.6061,343,873
142Nepal0.60229,674,920
143Kenya0.60154,985,698
144Cambodia0.59416,946,438
145Equatorial Guinea0.5921,449,896
146Zambia0.58418,920,651
147Myanmar0.58354,806,012
148Angola0.58133,933,610
150Zimbabwe0.57115,092,171
151Solomon Islands0.567703,996
151Syria0.56718,275,702
153Cameroon0.56327,224,265
154Pakistan0.557225,199,937
155Papua New Guinea0.5559,119,010
156Comoros0.554888,451
157Mauritania0.5464,775,119
158Benin0.54512,451,040
159Uganda0.54447,123,531
160Rwanda0.54313,276,513
161Nigeria0.539211,400,708
162Ivory Coast0.53827,053,629
163Tanzania0.52961,498,437
164Madagascar0.52828,427,328
165Lesotho0.5272,159,079
166Djibouti0.5241,002,187
167Togo0.5158,478,250
168Senegal0.51217,196,301
169Afghanistan0.51139,835,428
170Haiti0.5111,541,685
170Sudan0.5144,909,353
172Gambia0.4962,486,945
173Ethiopia0.485117,876,227
174Malawi0.48319,647,684
175Guinea Bissau0.482,015,494
175Liberia0.485,180,203
175Dr Congo0.4892,377,993
178Guinea0.47713,497,244
179Yemen0.4730,490,640
180Eritrea0.4593,601,467
181Mozambique0.45632,163,047
182Sierra Leone0.4528,141,343
182Burkina Faso0.45221,497,096
184Mali0.43420,855,735
185South Sudan0.43311,381,378
185Burundi0.43312,255,433
187Chad0.39816,914,985
188Central African Republic0.3974,919,981
189Niger0.39425,130,817

Best Countries To Live In 2021