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Top 6 Best Countries to Live in (2017)

What are the best countries to live in? It’s a simple question with surprisingly simple answers. Although numerous organizations use different criteria to respond to this question, most of the key factors are obvious. The best countries to live in have nationalized health care, high-quality education, low unemployment, plenty of nature, and a strong sense of community.

an aerial view of Cape Town

No wonder Scandinavia always does so well in these studies! In this article, we’ll take a look at some of 2017′s best countries to live in. As you’ll see, many of the nations on this list have long track records of providing their citizens with happy and healthy lives.

The Top 6 Best Countries to Live in

1. Switzerland

Matterhorn Peak in Switzerland

Switzerland has always been considered one of best countries to live in. For hundreds of years, Europeans would spend their holiday in this marvelously peaceful nation. Well known for its pacifism and sublime natural scenery, Switzerland clinched the top spot in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report survey of the best 80 nations on earth.

Switzerland also came in third place on the UN’s 2017 list of best nations and fourth in the 2017 World Happiness Report. One reason for Switzerland’s higher standard of life has to do with its strong sense of community spirit. Switzerland has extremely strong Good Samaritan laws on the books, which makes it one of the safest and friendliest nations on earth. The life expectancy in Switzerland is currently 83 years old.

2. Australia

The Sydney Opera House in Australia

Many younger people dream of living in Australia. That’s according to a new survey that asked millennials where they would most like to settle down. The top response from young adults in this survey was almost unanimous: Australia. Not only does Australia have some of the finest beaches in the world, but it also has one of the best education systems.

Currently, five percent of Australia’s GDP goes to education, and the average Australian student will go to school for at least 20 years. The 2017 U.S. News & World Report study put Australia in eighth place, but the UN study awarded the “Land Down Under” with a second place finish. The current life expectancy in Australia is around 82 years old.

3. The Netherlands

a windmill in Netherlands

It should be no surprise that the Netherlands came in at number six on countries millennials would most like to move to. This European nation has a reputation for its laid-back lifestyle, youthful vibe, and liberal leanings (especially in its capital city of Amsterdam). The UN put the Netherlands in the number seven spot on their top nations list.

Authors of the UN study praised the Netherlands’ 12.4 percent income inequality rate, one of the lowest in the world. It’s also worth noting that the Netherlands has one of the lowest unemployment rates (5.1 percent) in all of the European Union. In sharp contrast to other EU nations, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands has only gone down in the past few years. The current life expectancy in the Netherlands is around 81 years old.

4. Denmark

a city landscape in Denmark

The Danes are experts at happiness. Denmark always places high in the annual World Happiness Report. While it came in second place this year, it has been the happiest place on earth for the last three year. The UN praised Denmark for its strides in gender equality, noting that the median wage gap between Danish men and women is currently only 7.8 percent.

One reason for Denmark’s high happiness levels has to do with the sense of collective responsibility many citizens feel towards each other. Many Danes go out of their way to volunteer, and most feel a great sense of belonging. The Danes, like most other Scandinavian nations, also put great emphasis on education and a healthy work-life balance. The current life expectancy in this northern nation hovers around 80.

5. Japan

a temple and a cherry tree in Japan

Japan is often considered one of the best countries to live in, in Asia. The island nation came in fifth place on the 2017 U.S. News & World Report’s study, the highest position for any Asian nation. Japan is an incredibly safe nation with a homicide rate of only 0.3. Anyone with children should note that the Japanese education system is one of the most successful in the world.

The Japanese population has an astonishing literacy rate of 99 percent with an average IQ of 105. And, of course, who could forget the amazing Japanese cuisine, which was recently added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Without a doubt, Japan is still one of the best countries to live in. Life expectancy is extremely high in Japan, currently hovering around 83 years old.

6. Norway

a climber in Norway mountains

2017 marks the 13th time the Scandinavian nation of Norway has clinched the top spot on the UN’s quality of life report. This year, the UN praised Norway’s national healthcare service. Norwegians now enjoy a life expectancy of 82. Most surveys suggest Norwegians are living the happiest lives on the planet. The World Happiness Report gave the number one spot to Norway this year.

People working at the World Happiness Report say the Norwegians live happier lives than the rest of the world mainly because they spend a great deal of time enjoying the nation’s amazing natural scenery at their mandatory log cabins (called hytta in Norwegian). Norwegians are also known for spending long hours with friends and family.

Interestingly, many Norwegians say they are happier than the rest of the world because they have easy access to pristine natural scenery away from the innovations of modern society. Most Norwegians also say their shared belief that experiences are more important than material possessions is a major reason for their happiness.

Believe it or not, Norwegians actually have a word for helping people without expecting any return (Norwegian: dugnad). Although the fjords in Norway are spectacular, it’s the kindness and generosity of the people that truly makes this one of the best countries to live in.

Bottom Line

It’s so easy nowadays to travel around the world. With the rapid advances in technology, it’s possible for anyone with access to the Internet to become a digital nomad. If you’re thinking about settling down with a family in a new nation, you might want to consider trying to get into one of the nations listed above. All of the countries on this list are some of the finest in the world.

As the years wane on, these countries are only expected to raise their already high standards of living. So, if you have the capital and the courage to do so, go ahead and book a flight to one of these cheerful destinations. Once you arrive there, you’ll be glad you did.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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    • Shaina Lionceau

      What will you bring to that country? The last thing they want are African muslims. The last thing Europe wants are African muslims. Who of course hate Jews. Who of course hate Americans.
      Who of course want to have many children without the means to take care of them and see to
      their education. And who do not work hard. Who will make trouble if anything does not go their

      • Your comment is extremely rude and prejudice. How is it that you can feel completely comfortable blaming the ways or actions of a minority of people on 1 billion people. Aren’t Muslim’s people as well, you are speaking as if we are some kind of animals and that is very disrespectful.
        My religion teaches me to respect and be good to people who are not muslims because at the end of the day they are people with feelings. Just because you believe in something different to me or doesn’t mean I hate you, that is prejudice

        Anyways have a nice day

        • I certainly hope you are right, America has just immigrated 46,000 north african/ Wisconsin…I suspect they are muslim/Elshabab(sp). Not prejudice, but really don’t care for the radical change in the behavior of the (peaceful muslims) when ISIS moved into Mosul…they joined ISIS and butchered the Christians..real good group ..huh??

          • [yes, I know...It is not a good place for these discussions but please read so you can have a better vision of what is going on...]
            we should distinguish Isis/Takfiri/Jihadi extremist groups from the Sunnis/Shias .
            Isis does that brutality to the Muslims too.
            when a shia is killed because of having a shia name, what else do you except from a terrorist…

            they don’t need to lie, deceiving is much practical.
            they just show you the brutality and deceive you to believing that its a Muslim against Muslim war, which isn’t.
            Its a war against humanity which has roots in Israel an Saudi an USA and other countries with corrupt government feeding from same Zionist source…))

  2. Wow America didnt even make the list. Cant wait to get out. -_-

    • These lucky countries have low African populations.
      Australia is following America and bringing over thousands of African migrants. The crime and destruction that these Africans bring to my once great country makes me cry!!!! WHY!!!!!!!!

      • @ craig. main looking at your comment. i know you are a racist. that is why you are mentioning Africans alone. is it only blacks that does crime???? are you telling me is only the African American engage in crime in the USA??? you are so selfish and un-ethical.


          • @ Dany and Craig, there are bad people in every race so stop the crap.. Black, white, latino whatever; I am sure that we all wants what is best for our families.

        • Actually, I know an African family who moved away because the crime is so bad… that he fears his wife and children would be raped if caught alone…
          Wow. I wouldn’t exactly jump to conclusions by calling someone racist

      • Australia doesn’t provide statistics on crime by race, nationality or religion. Your claim is utter bullcrap.

        • @Dani you are right. that guy is a Racist.. he talks crap.

          • Exactly lana, from what I’ve experienced the majority of Africans I’ve met here have been extremely trustworthy and hardworking; more so than many Anglo-Aussies I know.

      • @ Craig, there are white Africans as well as white muslims… So is it the black Africans that you are commenting on? If so, I would also like to point out that Australians native people are black, you know the indigenous Australians you probably know them as Aboriginals. White people were sent over from other countries because they were criminals & they wanted to be rid of them. I would also like to point out that its mostly the White man that is known to be Rapists and Paedophiles. @DANY DO YOU THINK THAT SEXUAL ATTACKS, ESPECIALLY ON BABIES AND CHILDREN IS SOMETHING GOOD?

      • Alchapon was white all white people must be drug dealers by your judgement then.

    • @Angie You’re welcome to Norway any time, the most beautiful country in the world :)

  3. I want to move from the US!!

  4. oh no new zealand :’(

    • I have been to New Zealand twice, I would live there in a heart beat. Can’t understand why it isn’t on the list, reasonable cost of living, beautiful landscapes, wonderful people. the mind boggles.

      • NZ is a boring lifeless place. Good to visit but NOT to live trust me. The low wages and high cost of living keep it of the list, There are plenty of other counties with snow capped mountains and green forests. NZ is highly overrated and ask you’re self why do so many young NZers leave? Short answer lack of opportunity and fair wages cause them to travel abroad and few return until retirement. Australia is a much better option trust me.

    • Noo! NZ has very good nature, but many people litter everywhere.

    • New Zealand is overrated imho. All it’s got going for it is the natural beauty. As for everything else, you can find better in Australia or other countries on the list.


  6. About Norway:
    “On the whole it is the best place to live in the world 2015 in which the average life expectancy of a man is 50 years and for women it is 47 years.”

    The average life expectancy is totally wrong, it’s about 80 years for men and some years higher for women.

  7. surprised not to see new zealand. can someone tell me why

  8. OMG!!! Very Sad to read some of the above comments made regarding to black people…. These guys are pure racists….. We have to understand 1st that life originated in the African continent and our ancestors were all black…. White people are white merely BCoz of the huge migration which took place many years ago…… Peace :)

    • @Bodhan Gaonker. you are right about those guys been a pure Racists. i saw it coming from their comment. Peace

    • Thank you. Much love :-)

    • DaveKing (@DaveKin49439048)

      What’s even more sad is the crime rates for black people in the USA, black on black crime and black on white crime. I’ve lived among them, I’ve seen once peaceful, all white neighborhoods turn into murder infested garbage dumps after all the whites moved out and the black people moved in. I’ve watched businesses SHUT DOWN because they were being robbed too many times and couldn’t afford to stay open. It’s the horrible truth. Of course not all black people are like that but the ones that are, are very loud, violent, and ignorant.

  9. I rather live in any of these countries than the US !!

  10. Oh Please!! Don’t give me that crap. Those countries have a low crime rate because their educational system is way better than the US. The government spends millions in its agriculture, economy and educational system. There is little to no corruption, hence a lot of jobs. It is all about the culture and not about race!!! Black, hispanics, asian nor white’s make a country safer or more dangerous. Let’s not be ignorants.

  11. I live in America but frequently spend many months each year in Denmark, and am here currently. It is not the country it once was, even as little as 10 years ago. From about the early 1990′s it’s being overtaken by Moslems. They are now everywhere, it is a sad shame. They do not wish to integrate into Danish society but instead impose their culture/”religion” on the Danes. All the while taking full advantage of all the country offers. The Danish culture and society have been adversely affected by this. If you ask the native Danes they will tell you they regret the day they ever allowed the Moslems into their country.

  12. I liVe in south africa im getting married soon , in my mind i think where would be best place for my family one day … as us white people of this country are being murderd with there children in there own home , women being raped and left innthe bush to rot, our police are not efficient at all nor our government or president as he thinks for him self only ….everynight we pray go to bed hoping we will be able to wake up in the morning .. some nights scared to full asleep at night … i need to relocate to a new country for the future of my family safety and dreams .

    • aaron. Do you even know the reason and causing of this is? You white people caused it upon yourselves. Apartheid. If it weren’t for apartheid. everyone would live a peaceful life and South Africa would of been a developed country. You white people think you so better then everyone not the colour of your skin. You also disgrace religions not of yours. Racism is what brings countries like South Africa down. So next time think about what you are going to say or comment on. It is actually people like you that bring our nation down. White people are not being murdered in their own home, being raped and left in the bush to rot. They are living VERY rich lives with not one begging in the street. They all live in rich areas. You are sending a bad and false message about our country out there. Crime happens in all countries in the world. So please don’t be an ignorant.

      • You seem to be assuming he lives in the same part as you. He might just live in a worse part, plus you’re saying its his fault that white people screwed Africa up? Wtf.. You are sounding more racist then him. You can’t blame someone just because they have the same skim color as the people who screwed stuff up

  13. The United States will never be on this list. The USA is not run by its citizens. It is run by billion dollar multinational corporations and the 1% that are more interested in making more and more money and paying virtually no taxes. Country’s like Denmark tax wealth heavily. The wealthy in Denmark are use to it. They see the benefits to the country when the social services and education are superior. In the USA the wealthy feel that the Government should stay out of their pockets. They should not finance education or better health care. The US will NEVER improve until special interest money is removed from Washington and it’s citizens take over Washington once again.

    • Though the overall happiness and wealth may be lower the united states does have benefits. The capitalism brings intense competition and that greed pushes company’s more. The result is more and more advancements. It isn’t really that bad of a country, besides the overwhelming religious influence on the government. That’s by far the worst part, many people end up ignorant and in accepting of others.

    • Good, I wish they would make a list of worst country’s and put the US on it, maybe it’ll stop the millions upon millions of immigrants from all over the world that are sucking us dry from coming here in the first place. Everyone talks bad about the US and then they move here, and immigrants that come here still talk bad about the US while they’re on food stamps and all the real hard working americans are paying for they’re 15 kids and healthcare, I don’t understand why they don’t just leave or dont come here in the first place if it’s that bad,stay in china or Mexico or Africa or wherever they’re from. It doesn’t make sense! I have no problem with immigrants that’s what America(US) is, but if you come here and take advantage of our system and then talk bad about our country then get the F out!!

      • I just want to point out that I work in a Pharmacy (and I am white and a legal citizen, born and raised in the USA), and a good 70% of those people with “15 kids and healthcare” and food stamps are “white”, American citizens bred from generations of Americans. 20% are “black” American citizens, and maybe 10% are immigrants or are first generations. I constantly see young able bodied American citizens who take advantage of their own country, our country, by not working and doing drugs and being paid free money from the government to do it. But I’ve also seen hard working people both Immigrants and Citizens, who actually need the government’s help, despite doing one or multiple jobs, and doing all they possibly can. I have never ever seen an immigrant take advantage of the system, I have only ever seen true appreciation and gratitude for the opportunities they have here. But I am constantly seeing American Trash who don’t care about education, don’t care about working, and only care about the next time they can get high or drunk. I have even on several occasions witness a mother saying she can’t afford her child’s $3 antibiotic or other medication, but could you please just ring her out for the cigarettes or 6-pack. So, when looking at our Country, the USA, and saying we are being sucked dry from those taking advantage of us, look at your neighbors, look at your friends, look at the citizens around you because we are the root of the problem, not the immigrants. Besides, I bet you would never ever take those jobs at that pay that an immigrant takes, even if you got paid minimum or more wage for it–Americans have too much pride and think we are above those jobs, but most immigrants appreciate the opportunity to do any job, no matter how hard or degrading it may be. If it weren’t for those trying to make it in this country, we would have nothing running like it does because very few Americans will get off their lazy asses to pick grapes by hand for your wine you sip at night, or clean the hotel rooms and bathrooms you stay in on your vacation. I hate to say it, but this country is going down the drains because of its own citizens, not the immigrants. I’m pretty sure it’s those immigrants that even keeps us afloat at all. Obviously, in any crowd there are those few bad/abnormal people, and this does not exclude immigrants, but I’m just saying you can’t blame one group and not the other. And citizens of the U.S. Definitely deserve part of the blame (if not most of it).

  14. Sure, Sweden is one of the greatest countries to live in for many reasons, but please do not put ”women safety” as if it were one of the reasons Sweden is a nice place, because they are not that safe. There are so much rape in Sweden that we’re almost getting used to it, yes I know..
    People are afraid of letting daughters/girlfriends go out alone, since there is such a great chance that they will be assaulted. It was’nt like that just a few years ago but now it is, why? Well, you better not say that the increase of rapes is because of mass immigration, that would make you a pure racist, and you don’t want to be that, right? It is probably men of Sweden like me who have just gone crazy for the last years and decided to start raping defenceless girls, because that would make so much sense, would’nt it?
    The mass immigration is just hurting our society, badly. People have difficulties to find somewhere to live because of too many immigrants coming at the same time. Before, we had a safe society where people knew and trusted in each other, not we don’t.
    You can also find more and more ghetto’s in Sweden as the immigrants are too many to get the help that they need, sure we have a great land mass, but we don’t have far enough resources to get all the people coming here opportunities of a good normal life, instead they might end up in an apartment with 20 people in it, and I’m not joking about that. They will most likely end up in a suburb to any of the big cities, where things already are bad enough. For example, a father who came from Iraq, said this ”This place is just as bad as Iraq, it is out of control”. Now that’s is what’s happening to Sweden, not because of immigrants, but because of politicians who can not control this mass immigration. And it keeps getting worse.
    Jews that have lived in Malmö for generations are being driven out from Sweden now. And believe it or not, it is not casual men from Sweden who have decided to go crazy and started bullying them for the last couple of years. It is the muslims who are bullying jews so badly, that they have to get out of here. These people have lived here for decades, but do now feel so insecure in Sweden that there is nothing they can do except move to another country.

    The people I would recommend moving to Sweden are fighters for the Islamic State.
    No, not against the Islamic State -For the Islamic State.
    Yes, you are right, the ones who are using little girls as sex slaves who they sell when they have no use for them anymore.
    The ones who bury children alive.The ones who burn people alive.
    The ones that kill people who does not share their beliefs.
    The ones that hate western society.
    Why would I recommend those people to come here?
    Because you will get a job and an apartment, NO. JOKE.

    Welcome to Sweden everybody, where everyone is as pessimistic as me :D

    • Very true, MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA, the media wants to show Muslim’s are bad. ISIS is the creation of USA, Israel and KSA. When things go wrong why to blame all Muslims. The majority of world population are Muslim, if a part of some who call themselves “Muslim’s” like ISIS or any other Mot Fu…. in a certain country. It doesn’t mean that all the 2 billion Muslims in the whole world are bad. Does anyone think that it’s fair to say that?

  15. I don’t know why India didn’t make it!!!

    It is a peaceful country to live …!!

    • It’s because it’s so polluted there! They put DEAD bodies in the water! Who does that? If the pollution was not there it would make that place better. But your right it is peaceful place

  16. I wanna move to Iceland.. Blacks hate the cold…noncrime rate. Sounds good to me

  17. I feel so bad this time and I ask myself why i am in Africa I fell living the rest of my life in Denmark can someone help me get my way out of Africa

  18. Wow!! Alot of you people are incredibly ignorant be sitting here blaming a certain race for crimes and being untrustworthy. There is not one race in this entire world that is innocent. Every race has a criminal, a pedophile, a racist, and ignorance. You people need to stop judging these races and see them for the good that theu have.

  19. Australia is okay if you behave yourself…because we do prefer nice people…colour doesn’t matter ,,,just be nice and become a good citizen….regardless of religion….

    • I’m Australian, and what you said was very true! AUSTRALIA is the best place to live, better than the USA,

      • Not to hurt anyone

      • @Liz, living in a Bolivian jail is better than living in the U.S.! Of my list of top 250 countries to live in, the U.S. wouldn’t feature which is amazing considering there are only 223 countries in the World!

        Some amazing “World’s most….”s: Place where you’re most likely to be murdered by a police officer, place where you’re most likely to be murdered in a firearms attack, highest taxes, most violent South-American immigrant problem, about the fifth worst pollution problem apart from China, Sao Paulo and a few other hell-holes etc. etc.

  20. #1 should be canada its got a very low crime rate with an amazing government

  21. If you main reason for wanting to go to another country, is so that you can freeze to death in some Godforsaken northern hemisphere city, then this is a great list. Otherwise it’s the Worst list EVER! Jesus!! ICELAND? FINLAND? NORWAY? Was this thing writtn by a bloody Eskimo?!! As for SWEDEN, if the one thing you like more than freezing is the prospect of a Government ready to hand control to muslim extremists and impose Sharia law, then head on over!!! Canada is quite nice, but again, most of it is a frozen wasteland! Austria and Switzerland are reasonable (though not great) entries, and Australia should take the top shop, but in any case, clearly written by someone with serious unaddressed issues!

  22. Im looking to move away from the US –obvious reasons– and would like people who live in these countries to comment more on whats true or not true about this site, etc…
    Definitely NOT looking for people to state what type of race they think creates more crime and make fools of themselves.
    There has been some nice comments that make me learn more about that specific country but….does
    anyone else have something educated and helpful to say?

    Greatly appreciated!

  23. This list is very subjective. I have moved to Sweden after having lived in Belgium, France and the UK, and I can tell you despite the beautifull nature (you can only enjoy 3 month max per year) and the good social benefits, the country and its people are extremely boring. There is nothing to do, poor restaurant with very few terrasses during the summer. Sure there is a good welfare but you pay a lot of taxes (up to 70%) in order to help the lowest income. The people here are brainwashed to think the same (social democracy- Jantelagen: it resumes every thing). I knew that Belgium and France are pretty much socialist but over here it is still communism. Beware if you try to be different in this country! n I used to go very often to the Netherland and it is so much better: funnier people, better places to go out. I have been shortly to Norway, it looks the same than Sweden too..

  24. I don’t feel at home in the USA. However, as a Black American, moving to another country is very challenging. As a Black person, you have to research what country is known for Black discrimination and racist violence against Black people. In the end, I see France or Sweden being the better option that will benefit my future. Seeing Sweden on the this list actual puts it ahead of France on countries to look at.

  25. I enjoy the list all very attractive looking countries but then I stroll to the comments to see if anyone has living pointers for these countries and all I see is hate. As a African American born and raised in the US I know very well about the issues my people face as a ethnicity. I’m young and starting my life up hoping to live it the best I can. I figure I leave the country to see all the beautiful cultures and life styles the world has to offer but seeing how some of you “Adults” and I use that very loosely talk about race and of course “blacks” because most people find it easier to talk negatively about a race so different from theirs. Its like love and compassion doesn’t exist where as some of you would like to call yourselves loving and caring good people. Well that is false all the way through cause if you were true to those meanings you would say the extremely ignorant things you do. I see my own people do it to trust me everyone does it. But you guys can’t find it in you to be color blind and judge the individual not his race. I have pretty much all white friends in high place and low. I mingle with their families they call me son and brother they love me for me seeing through my race when they could have just as easily say my skin tone and told their son/daughter not to speak to me. I wish everyone in the world could be as they are as I am as a true kind hearted person should be but I guess this is our world. Ignorance will fester and hate will continue to cloud so many lives.
    I guess all I want it for ever body to just get along and heal this broken world of ours regardless of race or background or religion, oh religion. Good luck in life may peace find you all some day but lets hope not too late

    • Very well said! People can be very ignorant and racism in your country is appalling , but hopefully that mentally will one day disappear. I am happy that my country ranked 7th (Canada) even with all the diversity we have in our culture, where I guess a little more sensitive with our thinking. God bless.


    Very useful article….
    I like Canada… How to get job please help me…

  27. Singapore should be included in the top ten – little to no income tax, excellent healthcare, high literacy rate, warm weather, low crime

  28. Australia is the best

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