The World’s Best Countries for Quality of Life in 2023

the world's best countries

Looking to explore the world and start a new life abroad? Here are the 10 of the world’s best countries to live and work in.

With the increasing availability of remote jobs thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of moving abroad is much more possible than you might think. Depending on your industry, there’s likely an equivalent to your current job in a new country as well. So what’s stopping you from moving to one of the world’s top countries?

If you’re thinking about making the switch, here are some of the countries that should top your list.

What Makes a Country One of the World’s Best Countries?

It’s difficult to make a definitive list of the absolute best countries. That’s because everyone will have different opinions on what makes a country great. Someone who loves winter and skiing would love Canada, but those who prefer a tropical climate will look elsewhere.

But there are a few metrics you can look at to see which countries objectively offer a high quality of life. Things like average monthly income, happiness ratings, and safety all factor into quality of life scores that measure global happiness. When the US News World Report determined their list, they examined 78 countries with a survey of more than 17,000 people’s opinions.

Here are some of the top countries to live in and what about them makes them so great.


Switzerland is a European country filled with stunning mountains, gorgeous lakes, quaint villages, and a bustling, beautiful metropolis. Just the scenery alone is enough to make you want to move there. The cities are composed of excellent infrastructure and everything from the rolling hills to the urban areas are clean.

Beyond that, the standard of living in this country is exceptionally high. People are well-paid, safe, and happy. Of course, the cost of living is higher, but you’ll likely be able to afford it. Plus, Switzerland has universal healthcare.


Canada boasts gorgeous scenery. It’s easy to get away from it all and relax in the mountains or by a lake.

The country also has a high standard of living and quality of life. There are plenty of work opportunities, but the culture between work and relaxation is well balanced. They have a high number of work holidays. Plus, it isn’t uncommon for public and private employers to offer the entire week off between Christmas and New Year.

Because the country is so large, there’s space for larger homes. And with the growing economy, you’ll likely find a job that can support a comfortable lifestyle.

They clearly prioritize health, as the country offers decentralized, universal, and publicly-funded healthcare.


France holds its place as one of the world’s oldest established countries. It has a rich history to appreciate, impacting everything from its architecture to its artistic achievements and culture. The capital city of Paris has culturally influenced art and cuisine for centuries. Clearly a highly desirable country, it’s one of the most visited countries in the world. Tourism plays a large role in the economy. The economy is bustling and expansive, supporting everything from the arts to weapons distribution. According to US News World Report, the GDP of France is $2.73 trillion.

France offers a mix of public and private health insurance. There’s universal coverage, but some people opt to have supplemental private insurance to help cover more of the out-of-pocket costs.


Finland boasts a high quality of living and accessibility of freedom and equality.

The University of Helsinki compiled a list of the attributes awarded to the country to demonstrate the quality of the Finnish lifestyle: 

  • Safest (2017)
  • Freest (2019)
  • Most stable (2019)
  • Happiest (2019)

Additionally, they ranked third for the country with the best gender equality in 2020. The country also is the second-lowest when it comes to inequality among children according to UNICEF.

When it comes to work life balance, the Finnish have it made. It isn’t uncommon for companies to offer a four-week paid summer holiday every year. Plus, public holidays do not count towards annual leave and are paid as a regular work day.

All permanent residents of Finland have a right to public healthcare. And they boast an exceptional social security system.


In Denmark, the standard of living is high, making it easily one of the world’s best countries. There’s no shortage of fresh air, safe drinking water, and high-quality food. People from Denmark live a slow-paced lifestyle, and many consider this change of pace relaxing.

The official work week is only 37 hours and it isn’t common for people to stay late in the office. Companies prioritize efficiency, not working overtime.

Traveling by bike is extremely common, and the roads prioritize the safety of bikers. The public transportation system is accessible and reliable.

If travel is important to you, Denmark is well-positioned in Northern Europe. This makes it really easy to travel to a variety of other countries.

Plus, flights within Europe are inexpensive. But even within the country it’s easy to travel. Denmark is rather small, so you can get from one end of the country to the other in just a few hours. For reference, the state of Pennsylvania is 2.7 times larger than Denmark.

Denmark has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Most primary care, specialist appointments, hospital visits, mental health services, preventive care, and long-term care is completely free.

Finding the World’s Best Countries That Are Right for You

The world is a big, beautiful place filled with countless opportunities. But not everyone pictures the same thing when they dream of their ideal life. The 5 countries on this list certainly deserve their spot. But that doesn’t mean they’re the right place for you. World countries rankings don’t include factors that rely on your personal information: your job, your likes, your dislikes.

No matter where we live, we all should try to become global citizens of the world. Prioritize travel, learn about other cultures, and expose yourself to new experiences. 

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Author, Artist, Photographer.

Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.

She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.

She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.


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