The Most Livable Countries In 2018

The Most Livable Countries In 2018

The Human Development Index (HDI), published annually by the UN, ranks nations according to their citizens’ quality of life rather than strictly by a nation’s traditional economic figures.

In order to help people understand how nations are perceived on a global scale, over 21,000 respondents evaluated 80 countries by ranking them according to 65 attributes. Among those were an economic influence, power, citizenship, and quality of life, which collectively helped determine each country’s success as a modern nation.

The criteria for calculating rankings include life expectancy, educational attainment, and adjusted real income.

Here are The Most Livable Countries In 2018

 

10. New Zealand

  •  Population: 4.7 million
  •  GNI per capita: $32,689
  •  Life expectancy at birth: 81.8 years
  •  Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 95.2%

New Zealand’s economy is more agriculturally-based than most advanced nations. The 6.6% of New Zealand’s workforce employed in agriculture is a larger share than in each of the 25 most livable countries except for South Korea and Slovenia. Although New Zealand’s income per capita of $32,689 is lower than the average GNI per capita of $37,658 across all OECD nations, its residents still enjoy one of the highest standards of living on the globe.

The average New Zealand adult spends 12.5 years in school, the 10th most of any country. If current enrollment trends continue, young New Zealanders can expect to receive about 19 years of schooling, more years of expected schooling than in any nation other than Australia.

 

9. Canada

Toronto
City of Toronto
  • Population: 36.8 million
  • GNI per capita: $42,155
  • Life expectancy at birth: 82.0 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 99.9%

Canada has one of the better-educated populations in the world. Nearly all adult citizens — 99.9% of residents 25 and over have an at least some secondary education. The nation’s students also score among the best in the world on standardized math, science and reading exams for 15-year-olds. The United States often compares its own health care system to Canada’s public system.

Based on life expectancy at birth, it appears that Canadians are healthier on average than citizens of most other countries. Also, just 81 males and 51 females out of every 1,000 people are not expected to live past 60 years in Canada, one of the lowest adult mortality rates among nations reviewed by the HDI.

 

8. United States

Washington
Washington, D.C. The Capital of the United States of America
  • Population: 326.1 million
  • GNI per capita: $52,947
  • Life expectancy at birth: 79.1 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 95.0%

With a GDP of $16.2 trillion, the U.S. economy is the largest in the world. Workers in the United States are also among the world’s most productive. On average, each U.S. worker contributes $91,710 to the economy, third in the OECD after only Luxembourg and Norway.

Younger American students lag behind many of their peers abroad. U.S. students rank 22nd in the world in reading performance, 34th in math, and 26th in science. One potential explanation for the relatively poor academic performance may be a lack of investment in education.

The United States spends only 5.2% of its GDP on education, a lower expenditure than most OECD nations. However, based on the tertiary enrollment rate, Americans are more likely to pursue higher education than residents of every other country except for Greece and South Korea.

 

7. Ireland

Ireland
An aerial view of St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland
  • Population: 4.7 million
  • GNI per capita: $39,568
  • Life expectancy at birth: 80.9 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 79.6%

Like in many of Western Europe’s wealthier nations, Ireland has relatively strong medical institutions and its residents are healthy. Just 3.2 out of every 1,000 newborns die before age 1, for example, almost half the infant mortality rate of 6.48 deaths per 1,000 newborns across all OECD nations.

Similarly, just 82 males and 49 females per 1,000 Irish residents die before the age of 60, each significantly less than the OECD male and female mortality rates of 60.5 and 112.5, respectively.

Ireland residents spend 12.2 years in school on average, one of the higher mean years of schooling in the world. If current enrollment trends continue, Irish children can expect to receive an average of 18.6 years of education, the fifth most of countries reviewed.

 

6. Germany

Germany
The center of Berlin with the famous Television tower at sunset.
  • Population: 82.7 million
  • GNI per capita: $43,919
  • Life expectancy at birth: 80.9 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 96.6%

The 1990 Human Development Report ranked Germany as the 12th most livable country. The 2015 report ranks Germany sixth in the world for the third consecutive year. The Western European nation does especially well in educational measures. The average number of years of schooling among German citizens is 13.1, higher than in every other country reviewed. German students also rank among the top 20 countries in the world in reading, math, and science.

Germany, which is one of a minority of countries with a female head of state, is ahead of most countries in gender equality. Roughly 36.9% of parliament seats are held by women, a larger share than in all but 21 other countries.

Germany is also a relatively safe country. With fewer than 1 homicide for every 100,000 residents reported each year, it has one of the lowest murder rates of the 188 countries examined. By contrast, it is significantly lower than the 4.7 homicides for every 100,000 U.S. residents annually.

 

5. Netherlands

Netherlands
downtown Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Population: 17.02 million
  • GNI per capita: $45,435
  • Life expectancy at birth: 81.6 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 89.0%

The Netherlands, like many other Western European nations, has a high life expectancy and a strong education system. The Netherlands spends 12.9% of its $755.3 billion GDP on public health, a higher share than any country other than the United States. Partially as a result, Dutch citizens have remarkably good health outcomes.

The Netherlands’ infant mortality rate of 3.3 deaths per 1,000 newborns is almost half of the infant mortality rate across OECD nations. Similarly, the country’s 81.6-year life expectancy at birth is among the highest worldwide.

A higher share of Dutch children is enrolled in secondary school than in all but two other countries. If current enrollment patterns continue, a Dutch child can expect to receive about 18 years of schooling, the seventh highest of any nation.

 

4. Denmark

Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Population: 5.7 million
  • GNI per capita: $44,025
  • Life expectancy at birth: 80.2 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 96.1%

High public spending on education helps Danish citizens enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Denmark spends 8.8% of its $235.7 billion GDP on public education, compared to the average OECD expenditure 5.1%. Partially as a result, Denmark has a higher share of students enrolled in secondary school than in all but three other countries.

If current enrollment patterns continue, Dutch children can expect to receive 18.7 years of education, a longer period than in all but three other countries.

Compared to most advanced economies, Denmark is relatively safe. There is less than one homicide per 100,000 Danes, much less than the 4 murders per 100,000 persons across all OECD nations.

 

3. Switzerland

Switzerland
Aare, Switzerland
  • Population: 8.5 million
  • GNI per capita: $56,431
  • Life expectancy at birth: 83.0 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 95.7%

Switzerland is home to one of the healthiest populations in the world. Life expectancy at birth in the nation is 83 years, higher than in all but three other countries. A long life expectancy may be attributable to higher than average investment in public health. Switzerland spends 11.5% of its total GDP on public health, one of the largest shares in the world. Switzerland is also a relatively safe country.

With roughly 0.6 homicides for every 100,000 residents, the country’s murder rate is one of the lowest of countries reviewed.

Along with health and safety, the Swiss also do well by several education-related measures. The country’s schools are proving effective as Swiss students rank seventh in the world in mathematics. They also rank among the 20 top in reading and science.

 

2. Australia

Australia
Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
  • Population: 24.6 million
  • GNI per capita: $42,261
  • Life expectancy at birth: 82.4 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 94.4%

By international standards of wealth, health, and education, Australia is the second most livable country. Australia currently has the highest share of children enrolled in a secondary school of any nation. Australian children are expected to spend over two decades getting an education in their lifetimes, the highest years of expected schooling worldwide.

Relatively few adults in Australia die prematurely. Just 45 females and 78 males for every 1,000 Australians die before reaching the age of 60, much lower than the adult mortality rates of 61 females and 113 males for every 1,000 people who die prematurely across all OECD nations.

At the age of 60, the average Australian can expect to live for about 25 more years, the third highest old-age life expectancy on the planet.

 

1. Norway

Bergen Norway
Hanseatic houses in Bryggen at winter
  • Population: 5.3 million
  • GNI per capita: $64,992
  • Life expectancy at birth: 81.6 years
  • Pct. of pop. with at least some high school: 97.1%

While each of the Scandinavian nations has historically done very well in the HDI, Norway has ranked first in each of the last five years of the report’s release. Like most other nations with a high quality of life, Norway’s population tends to be very wealthy. The country’s GNI per capita of $64,992 is among the highest in the world. It is also more than $12,000 per person higher than the U.S. GNI per capita.

Like its Scandinavian neighbors, wealth and other aspects, such as employment and political power, are relatively evenly distributed throughout the population based on gender. The country ranks as one of the best of countries reviewed in the HDI gender equality index.