Have you ever wondered how much better your life might be if you lived abroad? If so, you’re not alone; while Dorothy might have been right that there’s no place like home, millions of people across the world still emigrate yearly in pursuit of a better standard of living comparative to their home country.
What is it that makes one country a ‘better’ place to live than another? Of course, on one level that’s a subjective issue – the answer to which depends on your priorities. If you have children, being in a place that can provide a safe and secure environment might be essential. A young student will want to live in a place that provides affordable education. As an adult forging your career path, you’ll probably want to be somewhere that offers the highest possible income for your skill set. For newlywed couples, affordable housing is often a concern. If you’re struggling to find a job, you might be inclined to move somewhere with a lower unemployment rate. Sometimes, people just want to live in a place where they can feel like they belong; a place with a strong sense of community. And finally, let’s not forget something we all need – our health. Ease of access to healthcare, clean water and the sanity of public facilities has a huge impact on overall well-being.
But there is a generally accepted, objective scale for assessing the overall well-being of a nation. Each of the member countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are assessed and ranked according to the ‘better life index’, which examines how satisfied a nation is with every crucial aspect of their life; from housing to income and jobs, to civic engagement and community. Things like work/life balance, education and safety feature on the scale too. With every aspect of life given equal importance, the Better Life Index tells us which countries are objectively ‘better’ according to the statistics. Read on to find out which ten countries have been impartially assessed as having the best quality of life in the world, according to the most recent report from the OECD Better Life Index. The quality of life is assessed out of 10; when you check out these figures, contextualise it with the fact that Turkey has the lowest score of all the OECD countries with a quality of life of just 2.71 / 10…
10. United Kingdom: 7.56
Citizens in the United Kingdom have a generally comfortable income and an above-average rate of employment. The UK consistently ranks high on the Better Life index, and this year it scored 8.8 out of 10 on the Community scale, meaning that the Brits are some of the most community-centric people in the world today. This means the British public are generally heavily involved in volunteer work, are conscientious neighbors and good Samaritans. The United Kingdom also got an excellent score on the Environment scale; there’s plenty of untouched landscape, protected regions and minimal air pollution compared to most countries in the world – although we’d guess that London must be an exception to that rule! It’s not good news for the poor in Britain though, as there’s still a huge gap between the rich and poor with the top 20% of the population earning about 600% more than the bottom fifth of the population.