Countries with the highest standard of living in the world (20 Photos)
According to the
Social Progress Imperative, these are the countries with the highest standard of living in the world.
Countries were ranked using three main indexes. These were Opportunity (personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance.), Basic Human Needs (medical care, sanitation, and shelter) and Foundations of Wellbeing (education, access to technology, and life expectancy).
The scores in each category are then aggregated and each nation given a score out of 100.
SPOILER ALERT: The Scandinavian’s won again. DAMN YOU ICELAND (i’m still not over it)!
19 – Unites States of America (84.62)
Shock horror! The US may be a victim of its own success in a strange way as the nation’s huge economic success is seen as disproportionate in relation to the social progress (or lack there of) of its citizens.
18 – France (84.79)
Secular France scored surprisingly low on “tolerance and inclusion’ and a lack of opportunity kept the froggy bastards (love you guys really) lower than you might expect.
17 – Spain (85.88)
High youth unemployment hurts our Iberian pals although it ranks high in work life balance and is boosted by its strong welfare system.
16 – Belgium (86.19)
Social progress is key for this little nation. The EU also has its parliament there. Topical.
15 – Germany (86.42)
Another slight surprise as the engine of Europe scores highly on inclusiveness (taking in a million refugees will do that) yet suffers in other areas (over population will do that).
14 – Japan (86.54)
A lack of immigrant population and worryingly high suicide rate among the young hurts the Japanese in these rankings. On the bright side (-insert joke about Rising Sun here-), social progress has accelerated massively in the last few decades with the mass introduction of women into the workplace.
13 – Austria (86.60)
Culture and all that powder (snow not talcum) help relatively small Austria finish higher than some more established nations.
12 – Ireland (87.94)
Ireland may actually improve on these ranking as Brexit may see companies moving to the Emerald Isles (as well as a surge in Brits applying for Irish passports). They also scored highly on ‘basic human needs’.
T-10 – New Zealand (88.45)
Hobbits, sheep, wizards, orcs, sheep and hobbits dressed as sheep. New Zealand has a booming tourism industry and a low population means jobs are abundant, thus allowing them to score very high on ‘Opportunity’.
T-10 – Iceland (88.45)
Iceland scores very well in social progress, particularly in the “basic human needs” index and GDP per capita.
9 – United Kingdom (88.58)
Beat you this time Iceland! HAHAHAHAHA!
The NHS is big part of the UK’s high placing, with “basic medical care” scoring almost 100% on the report. Education scores almost as highly, with free access to quality schools.
8 – Netherlands (88.65)
The Dutch are famously tolerant and is one of the highest scoring countries on ‘personal freedom and choice’.
Like the choice to not visit any of Amsterdam’s amazing museums but instead get high and argue with a door knob. Happened to a friend of mine…
7 – Norway (88.70)
So the Scandi domination continues! Norway is big on “nutrition and basic medical care,” and its “access to basic knowledge” is strong too.
6 – Sweden (88.80)
Sweden is incredibly clean apparently, with them scoring 99.77 on “Water and sanitation”. The country also picks up high scores in “nutrition” and “personal rights.”
5 – Switzerland (88.87)
Switzerland is famously expensive but in other areas they do extremely well.In “medical”, “nutritional” and “access to basic knowledge” the country really shines.
4 – Australia (89.13)
Australia has fantastic education, job opportunities and a strong sense of personal freedom. They do however score rather badly on ‘tolerance and inclusion’.
3 – Denmark (89.39)
Denmark has one of the best social mobility and income equality rates in the world. “Basic human needs” is where the country scores particularly highly, though its “health and wellness” stats such as life expectancy could be higher.
2 – Canada (89.49)
Well i didn’t see this coming!? Canada’s healthcare is what stands it above the rest. Education and opportunity in the country are also impressively strong.
1 – Finland (90.09)
Seems fitting to Finnish with another Scandinavian nation, as Finland scores highly on almost every index on the report, from basic needs, foundations of wellbeing and personal freedoms.