Used by the United Nations, HDI (Human Development Index) rates countries according to a myriad of factors that reflect life expectancy, education, income, healthcare, etc. In general, living in a country with a high HDI correlates with a high standard of living. So, these are the 25 best countries to live in according to the Human Development Index.
With everything from Alpine peaks to (a short) Mediterranean coastline, Slovenia is the most successful nation emerging from former Yugoslavia and is one of the fastest growing new members of the EU.
With heavy spending in the areas of education and research, Finland boasts one of the most qualified workforces of any country.
A prominent financial center, Luxembourg was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union.
Caught in the middle of numerous European conflicts over the centuries, the capital of the European Union has developed into a model of western democracy.
No longer the superpower it was prior to World War I, Austria still plays an important political role on the global stage and Vienna is home to numerous international organizations.
Emerging from two of history’s most destructive wars, France along with its former rival, Germany, has become one of Europe’s most important players.
This densely populated nation is the only country on Earth with a Jewish majority. In spite of it being in constant conflict with all of its neighbors, its economy has grown by leaps and bounds since its creation in 1948.
Hidden between Switzerland and Austria, this small German speaking country is very comparable to its neighbors in terms of quality of life and economy.
Since the end of World War II Japan has grown by leaps and bounds. Although its economy has seen some setbacks lately it’s still the third largest in the world after the US and China.
Since the partition in 1948, South Korea has left its northern half in the dust and developed into a major world economy.
In the past it was land of farmers and fisherman, today it has become one of Asia’s strongest economies and consequently is also one of the most densely populated.
A major player in the realm of global politics, it is the world’s first industrialized country and still boasts one of the largest economies although the last century saw its role as a superpower decrease significantly.
Along with Ireland, the land of fire and ice was hit particularly hard by the 2008 global financial crisis. Its future looks bright, however, as it boasts a highly educated workforce, plenty of natural resources, and that uniquely nordic brand of social cohesion.
With high standards of living, excellent life expectancy, and advanced social welfare, Sweden consistently tops the list of most developed post industrial nations in the world.
Although its economy suffered some of the worst effects of the 2008 world financial crisis, Ireland is also showing itself to be very quick at recovering.
Known for its modern economy and strong system of social welfare, Denmark has played a larger role in global politics than its size would suggest.
This wealthy, high tech city state is known for its conservative leadership and strict social policies.
The second largest country in the world after Russia, nearly 90% of Canadians live within several hundred kilometers of the US border. Not surprisingly the US and Canada have the world’s largest trading relationship.
A wealthy Pacific nation known for its spectacular landscapes, New Zealand boasts a strong economy built around tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing.
The most populous and industrialized country in the European Union, Germany is famed for its technological achievements.
With a GDP that accounts for roughly 1/4 of the world, ever since World War II the United States has been the globe’s foremost economic and military power.
Although it is a small nation, the Netherlands has played an important role on the international stage in terms of politics and diplomacy.
Formerly a land of mountain peasants, Switzerland has transformed itself into one of the world’s wealthiest countries and enjoys an extremely high standard of living.
One of the world’s most urbanized countries, nearly 70% of the population live in cities.
A ruggedly beautiful country of mountains, glaciers, and fjords, the Land of the Midnight Sun consistently tops the list of the most developed nations.