Quality of life in comparison (Photo: Boracay, private)

Comparison of quality of life worldwide

Emigration is very fashionable, but not only the docu-soaps on TV show that life abroad does not always have to be pleasant. This table compares the quality of daily life in 105 countries. The index is composed of 7 sections which play a role for a permanent existence in the respective country.

The table is led by Portugal. At the bottom of the list, in Iraq are probably the toughest living conditions.

Due to its good civil rights and general popularity, the USA ranks 44th and midfielder, although the high cost of living and the lack of security in some areas are negative.

Quality of life in a country comparison
excluding local income and taxes

A total of 27 factors were included in the calculation of the overall index, which were divided into 7 subject areas here. The best achievable value in each division is 100, see below the table to read which individual criteria are included in each division.

In this version, the average income and taxes of the respective country were not taken into account. The subject area "costs" consists (if available) only of the local cost of living. The weightings of the individual areas were also adjusted to a life as an emigrant or long-term expat.

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RankCountryStabilityRightsHealthSecurityClimateCostsPopularityTotal
1Portugal81858510070537377
2Malta9084939978483375
3Spain5578869774418774
4Bulgaria7253839948974774
5Croatia7760859958735173
6Macao99708110049409073
7Poland76748010025886973
8Greece4756919471498972
9Cyprus7080769877504872
10Hungary7860819640835972
11Czechia89829210022745472
12Japan9098919952157270
13Romania6759769834954870
14Austria841009810026179669
15Serbia5443729849993869
16South Korea75779010053277069
17Morocco5336419883923868
18Malaysia6853509241868168
19Georgia44696399461003368
20Italy6067879955219468
21Hong Kong89947710058116868
22Slovakia8169849935742868
23Botswana7369217587884467
24Germany81100979321258767
25Macedonia47427297541002167
26Singapore92897110041139167
27Albania60425995521002265
28Vietnam7126489853845865
29Netherlands861009010020148265
30Kazakhstan56257489441004065
31Bosnia and Herzegovina4437639855962865
32Chile7289579144663865
33Canada89100769531138565
34Mauritius827058976366865
35Slovenia81798410030553265
36Bahrain5138519563568265
37Uruguay7484728277362664
38Tunisia27445077801003164
39United Arab Emirates8770529957325864
40Sri Lanka5040539257962463
41Peru6143457767864463
42Estonia7995849316642463
43Argentina4543808677533663
44United States7198706365119463
45Belarus5922819221924862
46Mexico4832574783875962
47Lithuania798182881978962
48Azerbaijan34196796571001162
49France6694967140177362
50Saudi Arabia5540576659697561
51China6229636854697661
52Bolivia5622258586872861
53South Africa4353195096855961
54Moldova5033729341100061
55Oman85465710038603360
56Israel528286828304160
57Nepal50244586591001760
58Belgium6997939120146560
59Latvia707877931971860
60Algeria32154971781002659
61Qatar8058588159285959
62Finland8710092981535359
63Jordan3947619467522558
64India48452439671006657
65Ecuador6623528657731557
66Mongolia7340678744552056
67Iran2311468263854256
68Russia5017764627848756
69Costa Rica7371557146493256
70Ireland86997998416055
71Tanzania4630128082674155
72Thailand5835445243797055
73Brazil4241545461685155
74Panama7648587741552955
75Indonesia5340227636894955
76Zambia523298871742455
77Turkey1736553661886755
78United Kingdom681007784787354
79Cambodia679209745714254
80Dominican Republic6634466257623853
81Uganda502406170954353
82Namibia585619587476652
83El Salvador613342556975452
84Egypt9173046701004051
85Ukraine14287131311005650
86Jamaica5351445567531750
87Zimbabwe4725849360549
88Kenya2328193587853049
89Ethiopia2417364482742448
90Guatemala5123355453742548
91Libya180544177772948
92Ghana494869754431848
93Pakistan32212036671002448
94Bangladesh3219316345921547
95Colombia404248061982947
96Trinidad and Tobago744745554754547
97Kuwait6638589339131747
98Syria303741621003446
99Philippines4237291947923845
100Lebanon2621734669421044
101Venezuela132473658732141
102Belize583230554452140
103Burma3617175545623040
104Nigeria191722254833136
105Iraq373302245682135

You can read here which data can be found in the individual subject areas:

Economic and political stability

Indicators of medium- to long-term stability can be found in this area. In its "Worldwide Governance Indicators" project, the World Bank identifies a whole series of criteria for political consistency. From this, assessments of political stability and government effectiveness flowed into this area. Political stability also has the highest priority here.

On the economic side, an inflation rate of 0% was considered a theoretical optimum. So the bigger the deviation, the less attractive the views. Additional risk factors were government debt and budget deficits (in relation to gross domestic product), which, with higher values, also carry higher long-term risks. However, a balanced budget, or even a surplus, was seen as a positive signal. The country's unemployment rate was also included, as it indirectly leads to higher social expenditure and long-term unemployment is also a risk assessment of old-age pensions.

Legal system and civil rights

Political stability does not only have positive effects if they are based on dictatorial principles and if the people have no influence. The laws passed must not only sound good, but must also be implemented and complied with by the government. This subject area therefore primarily includes compliance with the "rule of law" and the regulatory quality of a government. In addition, other factors include democratic participation by the population and (with less emphasis) measures to combat corruption. In order to assess not only the measures against corruption, but also its perception by the population, the corruption index based on Transparency.org was also taken into account.

Health services

The most weighted factor in the health sector is average life expectancy, which reflects other factors such as a regular and healthy diet. In addition, the number of doctors and hospital beds in relation to the number of inhabitants was taken into account in this area.

Security

Even the most beautiful country cannot satisfy anyone if their own life is in danger. The most important role in this area is played by a country's murder rate. In addition, the total number of incidents, the number of people killed, wounded and abducted were included in the terrorism statistics.

Climate

For most emigrants, a pleasant climate is certainly the most obvious reason to leave home. The assessment of the climate is based on various studies that assume a maximum daily temperature of 25 °C at 55% humidity as the optimum environment. So the average temperature is a little lower. From a climatic point of view, this is not quite the dream of a Caribbean island, but from a medical point of view, Central Europeans feel particularly at home here. It should not be more or less than 8 rainy days per month. For each calendar month, the deviations were calculated and added to this theoretical optimum climate. A higher number of hours of daily sunshine also makes the climate more pleasant.

Costs and expenses

Even the best conditions are useless if you can't afford them. By far the most important factor in this area is the national cost of living, as this is the most important factor for living in the respective country. In relation to the costs, the average annual income was also included. Since this is often inversely proportional to the cost of living, these two individual factors are put into perspective in some countries. As a result, the annual income was weakened by a lower weighting. On the expenditure side, however, the taxes to be paid are also important. The maximum corporate and income tax rates were thus also taken into account.

Popularity

In contrast to the hard figures for the other areas, subjective assessments should also play a role as long as they are available in sufficient quantities. The general migration rate and the number of foreign tourists were therefore evaluated as an indicator of a country's popularity. The asylum applications submitted in the past five years were also compared with a lower rating.

Overall index

In order to arrive at an overall index for each country, the key figures for the 7 sub-sectors were included in an overall index in different proportions:

• Stability: 10%
• Civil rights: 10%
• Health and medical services: 14%
• Security: 18%
• Climate: 18%
• Costs: 18%
• Popularity: 12%

Continuous updates of this page

The above table is continuously updated and is always based on the most current data available. The data basis does not have to come from the same year for all countries (as a rule, it is the last closed calendar year, currently 2017). If individual values for a country are not yet available, the most recent data from previous years are used. A total of 27 factors were used to calculate the quality of life. However, not all data must be available for all countries. To avoid inaccuracies, no countries have been listed for which less than 23 individual factors exist.

Data pool

Data from the following organisations were used to produce the quality of life indicators: The World Bank Group, CIA Factbook, OECD, Numbeo, Transparency.org, UNHCR, Global Terrorism Database, German Weather Service and own research.