Best Countries to Live in 2022

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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 2022

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Best Countries to Live in 2022

Ranking Country Human Development Index 2022 Population
1Norway0.9575,434,319
2Switzerland0.9558,740,472
2Ireland0.9555,023,109
4Hong Kong0.9497,488,865
4Iceland0.949372,899
6Germany0.94783,369,843
7Sweden0.94510,549,347
8Australia0.94426,177,413
8Netherlands0.94417,564,014
10Denmark0.945,882,261
11Singapore0.9385,975,689
11Finland0.9385,540,745
13United Kingdom0.93267,508,936
14Belgium0.93111,655,930
14New Zealand0.9315,185,288
16Canada0.92938,454,327
17United States0.926338,289,857
18Austria0.9228,939,617
19Japan0.919123,951,692
19Israel0.9199,038,309
19Liechtenstein0.91939,327
22Slovenia0.9172,119,844
23South Korea0.91651,815,810
23Luxembourg0.916647,599
25Spain0.90447,558,630
26France0.90164,626,628
28Malta0.895533,286
29Italy0.89259,037,474
29Estonia0.8921,326,062
31United Arab Emirates0.899,441,129
32Greece0.88810,384,971
33Cyprus0.8871,251,488
34Lithuania0.8822,750,055
35Poland0.8839,857,145
36Andorra0.86879,824
37Latvia0.8661,850,651
38Portugal0.86410,270,865
39Slovakia0.865,643,453
40Saudi Arabia0.85436,408,820
40Hungary0.8549,967,308
42Bahrain0.8521,472,233
43Chile0.85119,603,733
43Croatia0.8514,030,358
45Qatar0.8482,695,122
46Argentina0.84545,510,318
47Brunei0.838449,002
48Montenegro0.829627,082
49Romania0.82819,659,267
50Palau0.82618,055
51Kazakhstan0.82519,397,998
52Russia0.824144,713,314
53Belarus0.8239,534,954
54Turkey0.8285,341,241
55Uruguay0.8173,422,794
56Bulgaria0.8166,781,953
57Panama0.8154,408,581
58Bahamas0.814409,984
58Barbados0.814281,635
60Oman0.8134,576,298
61Georgia0.8123,744,385
62Malaysia0.8133,938,221
62Costa Rica0.815,180,829
64Serbia0.8067,221,365
64Kuwait0.8064,268,873
66Mauritius0.8041,299,469
67Trinidad and Tobago0.7961,531,044
67Seychelles0.796107,118
69Albania0.7952,842,321
70Iran0.78388,550,570
70Cuba0.78311,212,191
72Sri Lanka0.78221,832,143
73Bosnia and Herzegovina0.783,233,526
74Mexico0.779127,504,125
74Ukraine0.77939,701,739
74Grenada0.779125,438
74Saint Kitts and Nevis0.77947,657
78Antigua and Barbuda0.77893,763
79Thailand0.77771,697,030
79Peru0.77734,049,588
81Armenia0.7762,780,469
82North Macedonia0.7742,093,599
83Colombia0.76751,874,024
84Brazil0.765215,313,498
85China0.7611,425,887,337
86Ecuador0.75918,001,000
86Saint Lucia0.759179,857
88Dominican Republic0.75611,228,821
88Azerbaijan0.75610,358,074
90Moldova0.753,272,996
91Algeria0.74844,903,225
92Lebanon0.7445,489,739
93Fiji0.743929,766
94Dominica0.74272,737
95Tunisia0.7412,356,117
95Maldives0.74523,787
97Suriname0.738618,040
97Saint Vincent and the Grenadines0.738103,948
99Mongolia0.7373,398,366
100Botswana0.7352,630,296
101Jamaica0.7342,827,377
102Jordan0.72911,285,869
103Paraguay0.7286,780,744
104Tonga0.725106,858
105Libya0.7246,812,341
106Uzbekistan0.7234,627,652
107Indonesia0.718275,501,339
107Philippines0.718115,559,009
107Bolivia0.71812,224,110
110Belize0.716405,272
111Turkmenistan0.7156,430,770
111Samoa0.715222,382
113Venezuela0.71128,301,696
114South Africa0.70959,893,885
115Palestine0.7085,250,072
116Egypt0.707110,990,103
117Vietnam0.70498,186,856
117Marshall Islands0.70441,569
119Gabon0.7032,388,992
120Kyrgyzstan0.6976,630,623
121Morocco0.68637,457,971
122Guyana0.682808,726
123Iraq0.67444,496,122
124El Salvador0.6736,336,392
125Tajikistan0.6689,952,787
127Guatemala0.66317,843,908
128Nicaragua0.666,948,392
129Bhutan0.654782,455
130Namibia0.6462,567,012
131India0.6451,417,173,173
132Honduras0.63410,432,860
133Bangladesh0.632171,186,372
134Kiribati0.63131,232
135Sao Tome and Principe0.625227,380
136Micronesia0.62114,164
137Laos0.6137,529,475
138Ghana0.61133,475,870
138Eswatini0.6111,201,670
140Vanuatu0.609326,740
141Timor Leste0.6061,341,296
142Nepal0.60230,547,580
143Kenya0.60154,027,487
144Cambodia0.59416,767,842
145Equatorial Guinea0.5921,674,908
146Zambia0.58420,017,675
147Myanmar0.58354,179,306
148Angola0.58135,588,987
150Zimbabwe0.57116,320,537
151Syria0.56722,125,249
151Solomon Islands0.567724,273
153Cameroon0.56327,914,536
154Pakistan0.557235,824,862
155Papua New Guinea0.55510,142,619
156Comoros0.554836,774
157Mauritania0.5464,736,139
158Benin0.54513,352,864
159Uganda0.54447,249,585
160Rwanda0.54313,776,698
161Nigeria0.539218,541,212
162Ivory Coast0.53828,160,542
163Tanzania0.52965,497,748
164Madagascar0.52829,611,714
165Lesotho0.5272,305,825
166Djibouti0.5241,120,849
167Togo0.5158,848,699
168Senegal0.51217,316,449
169Afghanistan0.51141,128,771
170Sudan0.5146,874,204
170Haiti0.5111,584,996
172Gambia0.4962,705,992
173Ethiopia0.485123,379,924
174Malawi0.48320,405,317
175DR Congo0.4899,010,212
175Liberia0.485,302,681
175Guinea Bissau0.482,105,566
178Guinea0.47713,859,341
179Yemen0.4733,696,614
180Eritrea0.4593,684,032
181Mozambique0.45632,969,518
182Burkina Faso0.45222,673,762
182Sierra Leone0.4528,605,718
184Mali0.43422,593,590
185Burundi0.43312,889,576
185South Sudan0.43310,913,164
187Chad0.39817,723,315
188Central African Republic0.3975,579,144
189Niger0.39426,207,977

Best Countries to Live in 2022

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