Standard of Living by Country | Quality of Life by Country 2022

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Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, necessities, and material goods available to a particular geographic area. It is closely related to (and often used interchangeably with) quality of life, which is generally understood to include the same measures of prosperity as standard of living, but also incorporate physical and mental health and wellness. Because standard of living and quality of life are broad, but also slightly ambiguous terms, there is no universally agreed-upon technique for measuring them. However, this has given statisticians the opportunity to invent all manner of interesting equations, systems, and surveys that attempt the impossible task of boiling down quality of life (or on rarer occasions, standard of living) into a simple number.

The Quality of Life index

One of the most comprehensive equations is Numbeo's Quality of Life Index, which measures eight indices: purchasing power (including rent), safety, health care, cost of living, property price to income ratio, traffic commute time, pollution, and climate. Purchasing power, cost of living, and property price to income ratio are all measures of the average citizen's financial wherewithal in a country, which connects directly to the standard of living. Traffic Commute Time is self-explanatory but vital (as any commuter will testify).

The safety index covers concerns about robberies, car theft, and other crimes, as well as the prevalence of drugs, property crime, violent crimes, and corruption and bribery. The health care index estimates the overall quality of the health care system, starting with costs to the patient and moving on to quality of care, equipment, doctors, and staff. The pollution index estimates the overall pollution in the country. Air pollution is given the most significant weight, followed by water pollution and accessibility to clean water. The climate index is the climate likability of a given country. Countries with a climate index of 100 have moderate temperatures, low humidity, and no significant weather events or conditions. Based on these indices, the top of the list breaks down as follows:

Top 10 Countries* with the Highest Quality of Life, mid-2021 - Numbeo

  1. Switzerland - 188.36
  2. Denmark - 186.25
  3. Netherlands - 180.27
  4. Finland - 178.95
  5. Australia - 178.41
  6. Iceland - 177.64
  7. Austria - 176.36
  8. Germany - 175.24
  9. New Zealand - 173.60
  10. Luxembourg - 171.81

*The full data for each list can be seen in the table further down this page. Clearly, Northern Europe is home to some very satisfied people. However, the Numbeo equation is far from the only one.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life - U.S. News Best Countries Report 2021

  1. Canada
  2. Denmark
  3. Sweden
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. Australia
  7. Netherlands
  8. Finland
  9. Germany
  10. New Zealand

The U.S. News and World Report's annual "Best Countries Report", assembled in partnership with the BAV Group and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, uses detailed surveys to track a similar, but different set of indicators. These include affordability, safety, the job market, level of income equality, economic and political stability, and the quality of public education and health systems. Other than Canada and Sweden claiming two of the top three slots (they were 22nd and 13th in the numbeo rankings), the two lists include many of the same countries—but because of differences in either the survey questions or the methodology, the order changes.

The World's Top 10 Countries for Quality of Life, 2021 - CEO World

  1. Finland - 99.06
  2. Denmark - 98.13
  3. Norway - 96.75
  4. Belgium - 96.53
  5. Sweden - 96.15
  6. Switzerland - 94.40
  7. Netherlands - 93.69
  8. France - 92.08
  9. Germany - 91.26
  10. Japan - 91.23

This survey questioned more than 258,000 people on 10 metrics, including equality, stability, and government transparency. The usual suspects reappear, but their order is again scrambled from previous entries. Moreover, Canada drops to 12th on this list, which also slots Australia down at 17th and welcomes Japan into the top 10. Perhaps comically, although all three lists thus far have had a different country in the top slot, Denmark has placed second every time.

Top 10 Countries with Highest Human Development Index, 2020 Report - United Nations

  1. Norway - .957
  2. Ireland - .955 (tie)
  3. Switzerland - .955 (tie)
  4. Hong Kong (China) - .949 (tie)
  5. Iceland - .949 (tie)
  6. Germany - .947
  7. Sweden - .945
  8. Australia - .944
  9. Netherlands - .944
  10. Denmark - .940

Despite its more academic name, the United Nations' Human Development Index tracks many of the same factors as most measures of quality of life or standard of living. However, while most of the surveys on this page are based upon exactly that—surveys—the HDI is based more on empirical data such as life expectancy, years of schooling, and GNI per capita. Nonetheless, many of the same countries appear in the top 10.

Standard of Living by Country | Quality of Life by Country 2022

Country QoL - Numbeo QoL - US News QoL - CEO World HDI - UN
Switzerland188.36594.40.955
Denmark186.25298.130.94
Netherlands180.27793.690.944
Finland178.95899.060.938
Australia178.41688.230.944
Iceland177.6484.960.949
Austria176.361188.520.922
Germany175.24991.260.947
New Zealand173.61086.020.931
Luxembourg171.8185.080.916
Norway171.72496.750.957
Estonia171.164882.870.892
Sweden170.19396.150.945
Oman168.827076.320.813
Slovenia165.745476.770.917
Japan164.061391.230.919
United States163.62089.110.926
Spain163.481987.620.904
Lithuania160.295677.550.882
Portugal159.832186.380.864
Canada157.25190.30.929
United Kingdom156.941490.680.932
United Arab Emirates156.942483.790.89
Croatia155.413780.110.851
France153.61792.080.901
Qatar151.483482.240.848
Ireland150.541587.760.955
Belgium148.181296.530.931
Slovakia147.094681.080.86
Latvia146.85080.680.866
Singapore146.481687.640.938
Cyprus146.0883.390.887
Saudi Arabia144.693377.750.854
Israel143.653684.430.919
Italy137.772286.850.892
Hungary134.543083.260.854
South Africa131.3777.940.709
Romania130.864479.080.828
Greece127.962683.390.888
Poland127.792581.820.88
Bulgaria126.884279.460.816
South Korea124.731889.670.916
Turkey124.194078.720.82
Uruguay122.425576.560.817
Costa Rica120.4276.460.81
Mexico119.824181.460.779
Serbia1177474.130.806
Georgia116.6268.730.812
Ecuador116.276575.520.759
Malaysia115.022882.340.81
Kuwait113.6779.390.806
Jordan112.286871.150.729
Panama111.136277.950.815
North Macedonia108.2572.020.774
Ukraine107.86178.860.779
Belarus107.157276.460.823
Morocco105.044779.690.686
Brazil104.75282.380.765
Argentina104.315981.930.845
China103.162382.80.761
India1033882.950.645
Pakistan102.1557.180.557
Colombia102.026077.160.767
Azerbaijan101.417371.010.756
Thailand100.32982.690.777
Russia97.913182.060.824
Chile97.274377.420.851
Hong Kong96.184.640.949
Kazakhstan94.257175.450.825
Indonesia90.153578.860.718
Vietnam88.93278.490.704
Egypt87.215177.280.707
Peru81.295778.770.777
Philippines78.123982.480.718
Kenya76.926974.80.601
Sri Lanka75.525873.160.782
Bangladesh64.5477.220.632
Iran63.673.080.783
Nigeria54.7175.490.539
Ethiopia73.050.485
DR Congo70.360.48
Tanzania75.110.529
Myanmar6771.380.583
Uganda73.210.544
Sudan31.670.51
Algeria80.960.748
Iraq7874.890.674
Afghanistan68.50.511
Angola72.570.581
Uzbekistan7674.790.72
Yemen69.430.47
Ghana72.030.611
Mozambique64.710.456
Nepal75.660.602
Madagascar59.950.528
Venezuela73.660.711
Ivory Coast70.140.538
Cameroon70.610.563
Niger49.430.394
Burkina Faso64.420.452
Mali68.090.434
Syria31.550.567
Malawi42.250.483
Zambia0.584
Guatemala6474.110.663
Chad58.230.398
Senegal0.512
Cambodia4969.180.594
Zimbabwe70.640.571
Guinea60.960.477
Rwanda51.260.543
Benin53.410.545
Burundi36.550.433
Tunisia6679.540.74
Bolivia0.718
Haiti46.910.51
Dominican Republic530.756
Cuba72.740.783
South Sudan35.520.433
Honduras0.634
Papua New Guinea0.555
Tajikistan41.60.668
Togo40.950.515
Sierra Leone37.30.452
Laos0.613
Nicaragua0.66
Libya70.310.724
Paraguay73.590.728
Kyrgyzstan44.810.697
Turkmenistan70.550.715
El Salvador7568.990.673
Central African Republic35.130.397
Lebanon7776.770.744
Liberia35.610.48
Palestine0.708
Mauritania38.080.546
Eritrea43.950.459
Mongolia63.840.737
Moldova72.030.75
Bosnia And Herzegovina0.78
Albania68.960.795
Jamaica65.010.734
Armenia61.620.776
Gambia34.740.496
Botswana68.580.735
Namibia62.250.646
Gabon68.060.703
Lesotho0.527
Guinea Bissau0.48
Equatorial Guinea56.80.592
Trinidad And Tobago0.796
Bahrain76.760.852
Timor Leste0.606
Mauritius72.950.804
Eswatini37.770.611
Djibouti35.390.524
Fiji0.743
Comoros33.140.554
Guyana37.560.682
Bhutan80.780.654
Solomon Islands0.567
Montenegro38.560.829
Suriname36.650.738
Malta83.040.895
Maldives67.650.74
Bahamas0.814
Belize34.780.716
Vanuatu0.609
Barbados0.814
Sao Tome And Principe0.625
Samoa0.715
Saint Lucia0.759
Kiribati0.63
Grenada0.779
Micronesia0.62
Seychelles34.740.796
Tonga0.725
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines0.738
Antigua And Barbuda0.778
Andorra0.868
Dominica34.190.742
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.779
Marshall Islands0.704
Liechtenstein84.750.919
Palau0.826

Standard of Living by Country | Quality of Life by Country 2022

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