10 countries with the best quality of life, 2020: Guess India's rank

·7 min read

What constitutes good quality of living? 

Of course wide access to food and housing, quality education, health care and employment are imperatives to a good quality of life. But that apart, quality also includes intangible aspects such as job security, political stability, individual freedom and environmental quality.

World over scientists agree that material wealth is not the most important factor in assessing a life lived well. The results of the Quality of Life sub-ranking survey reflect that sensibility.

The 2021 Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, are based on a study that surveyed more than 17,000 global citizens from four regions to assess perceptions of 78 countries on 76 different metrics. 

The Quality of Life subranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from nine country attributes that relate to quality of life in a country: affordable, a good job market, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system and well-developed public health system. The Quality of Life subranking score had a 13.88% weight in the overall Best Countries ranking.

People consistently view a small group of nations as being best at providing for their citizens. For the sixth consecutive year, Canada ranks No. 1 overall for providing a good quality of life. Survey respondents rank the North American country as No. 1 for having a good job market, No. 2 for being politically stable and No. 3 for having a well-developed public education system, a perception supported by independent research. The North American country is seen as possessing the fourth-best developed public health care system. In fact, Canada is rated in the top 10 in all but one of the nine attributes, affordability, where Asian countries dominate.

Seven European countries are ranked in the top 10: Denmark, Sweden and Norway immediately follow Canada, with Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland and Germany also finishing in the top 10. Australia and New Zealand also finished in the top 10 countries in Quality of Life.

Countries perceived to provide a lower quality of life perform most poorly in areas concerning personal safety and economic opportunity. Iraq, Lebanon and Uzbekistan are at the bottom of the quality of life ranking, followed by El Salvador, Serbia and Azerbaijan. The Dominican Republic – which ranks 53rd for quality of life – finishes last for its public education system, while Colombia (60th for quality of life) places last for safety.

The United States ranks No. 20, down five spots from last year, by survey respondents for providing a good quality of life. Even though it placed No. 4 for its job market, the country placed No. 51 for affordability.

How does India fare in the quality of life index? Take a look at the top 10 and India's ranking.

1. Canada

Landmarks of Toronto with the CN Tower, white stadium dome of the Rogers Centre, and the skyscrapers of the downtown business district.
Landmarks of Toronto with the CN Tower, white stadium dome of the Rogers Centre, and the skyscrapers of the downtown business district.

#1 in Quality of Life Rankings

No Change in Rank from 2020

Canada takes up about two-fifths of the North American continent, making it the second-largest country in the world after Russia. The country is sparsely populated, with most of its 35.5 million residents living within 125 miles of the U.S. border. Canada’s expansive wilderness to the north plays a large role in Canadian identity, as does the country’s reputation of welcoming immigrants.

2. Denmark

#2 in Quality of Life Rankings

No Change in Rank from 2020

The Kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century and includes two North Atlantic island nations, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Along with Sweden and Norway, it forms Scandinavia, a cultural region in Northern Europe.

3. Sweden

Stockholm cityscape with beautiful buildings of Gamla Stan (Old Town) at sunset , Sweden
Stockholm cityscape with beautiful buildings of Gamla Stan (Old Town) at sunset , Sweden

#3 in Quality of Life Rankings

No Change in Rank from 2020

The Kingdom of Sweden, flanked by Norway to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east, expands across much of the Scandinavian Peninsula and is one of the largest countries in the European Union by land mass. Capital city Stockholm was claimed in the 16th century, and border disputes through the Middle Ages established the modern-day nation.

4. Norway

Bergen, Norway. View of historical buildings in Bryggen- Hanseatic wharf in Bergen, Norway. UNESCO World Heritage Site
Bergen, Norway. View of historical buildings in Bryggen- Hanseatic wharf in Bergen, Norway. UNESCO World Heritage Site

#4 in Quality of Life Rankings

No Change in Rank from 2020

The Kingdom of Norway is the westernmost country in the Scandinavian peninsula, made up mostly of mountainous terrain. Nearly all of its population lives in the south, surrounding the capital, Oslo. Norway’s coastline is made up of thousands of miles of fjords, bays and island shores. The Norwegians developed a maritime culture, and were active throughout the Viking era, establishing settlements in Iceland and Greenland.

5. Switzerland

One man looking at the Jesuit Church and Mount Pilatus from the banks of Reuss river in Lucerne, Switzerland
One man looking at the Jesuit Church and Mount Pilatus from the banks of Reuss river in Lucerne, Switzerland

#5 in Quality of Life Rankings

#7 out of 73 in 2020

Switzerland, officially called the Swiss Federation, is a small country in Central Europe made up of 16,000 square miles of glacier-carved Alps, lakes and valleys. It’s one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and has been well-known for centuries for its neutrality.

6. Australia

Melbourne city at night
Melbourne city at night

#6 in Quality of Life Rankings

#5 out of 73 in 2020

The Commonwealth of Australia occupies the Australian continent. The country also includes some islands, most notably Tasmania. Indigenous people occupied the land for at least 40,000 years before the first British settlements of the 18th century.

7. Netherlands

View of canal in Amsterdam, Holland.
Amstel river, canal, and bicycles.
View of canal in Amsterdam, Holland. Amstel river, canal, and bicycles.

#7 in Quality of Life Rankings

#6 out of 73 in 2020

Situated along the fringes of Western Europe, the Netherlands is a coastal lowland freckled with windmills characteristic of its development around the water. Three major European rivers - the Rhine, Meuse and Schelde - run through neighbors Germany and Belgium into the nation’s busy ports

8. Finland

#8 in Quality of Life Rankings

#9 out of 73 in 2020

Geography defines the history and culture of Nordic Finland, one of the most northern-reaching countries in the world. Bordered by Scandinavia, Russia, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia, Finland and its vast stretches of heavily forested open land acts as a northern gate between West and East.

9. Germany

Frankfurt am Main.
Frankfurt am Main.

#9 in Quality of Life Rankings

#10 out of 73 in 2020

Germany, the most populous nation in the European Union, possesses one of the largest economies in the world and has seen its role in the international community grow steadily since reunification. The Central European country borders nine nations, and its landscape varies, from the northern plains that reach to the North and Baltic seas to the Bavarian Alps in the south.

10. New Zealand

skyline of Auckland with city central business district at the noon
skyline of Auckland with city central business district at the noon

#10 in Quality of Life Rankings

#8 out of 73 in 2020

British and Polynesian influences course through picturesque New Zealand, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Australia. Early Maori settlers ceded sovereignty to British invaders with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, and European settlers flooded in. Today, 70 percent of Kiwis, a common term for the people of New Zealand after a native flightless bird, are of European descent. A sense of pride has surged among the Maori, the country’s first settlers who now account for about 14 percent, as homeland grievances become more openly addressed.

38. India

Overview of Mumbai city
Overview of Mumbai city

#38 in Quality of Life Rankings

#30 out of 73 in 2020

Located in Southeast Asia, India sits on a peninsula that extends between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. The country, the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism, is the world’s second most-populous nation after China, and has roughly one-sixth of the world’s population. After years of nonviolent struggle against British rule, India gained its independence in 1947.

Source: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/india

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