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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.