With 195 nations to choose from, figuring out what the best countries to live in is a challenge, to say the least.
Below is our breakdown of the best countries to live in. Are you looking for a better quality of life? Why are people happier in one country over another? Where can I go to take advantage of better health care or education?
Many factors should be evaluated when choosing a place to live, but let’s look at the most important considerations when deciding the best country to live in.
These include political stability and safety, investment, economic stability, education, and health.
At Nomad Capitalist, we have helped our clients get residence permits in 38 countries, acting as architects and general contractors to create holistic plans.
We are all about freedom, including having the freedom to acquire residency and citizenship in one of the best countries to live in. Apply to become a client today.
Quality of Life – Norway
The idea of quality of life goes beyond the basic necessities of food, housing, education, healthcare, and employment. It involves all aspects of our life, including job opportunities, political stability, individual freedoms, and environmental conditions.
The Social Progress Index for 2022 evaluated the progress of 169 countries worldwide in terms of social well-being and combined 60 social and environmental outcome indicators, including health, safety, education, technology, rights, and more.
Countries that top the list included:
Northern and Western Europe seems to have the best countries to live in for overall quality of life. These countries offer strong job opportunities, financial stability, ease of family life, income equality, safety, and well-developed public education and health systems, meaning a very high quality of life.
However, these countries also come with some of the highest tax rates in the world, as high as 55.9 %.
Opportunities for social interaction and community involvement are also important and significantly impact the quality of life. A welcoming and diverse society that values and celebrates different cultures makes it easier for foreigners to integrate and feel at home.
A major factor in how well you can integrate is language and communication. A country where English is widely spoken or where there is a willingness to communicate in different languages is more comfortable for foreigners.
Happiness – Finland
Topping the list of the World Happiness Report for the sixth year in a row is Finland, located in Northern Europe. So, why are the Finish people so happy?
The happiness rankings consider various factors such as health, life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, low corruption, generosity, and freedom in decision-making.
While it may not be feasible for everyone to move to Finland, other countries that made the top 20 are:
- The Netherlands (No. 5)
- Switzerland (No. 8)
- Luxembourg (No. 9)
- Ireland (No. 14)
Average Life Expectancy – Japan
You might be surprised to learn that Western counties like the United States and Britain did not make the top 20 best countries to live in terms of lifespan. In fact, the lifespan of US citizens is decreasing, down to 76.1.
Japan tops the list with people living to an average life expectancy of 85 years.
Would you like to live longer and keep more of your wealth? The most tax-friendly countries with high life expectancy include:
- Hong Kong
Human Climate Niche – Ireland
A new study by the Nature Sustainability journal has revealed that global heating may force billions of people out of areas where humans have thrived for thousands of years because of unprecedented temperatures and extreme weather.
The study used the “climate niche,” in which the livable range for humans ranges from 55°F (12.7°C) to 81°F (27.2°C). By 2030, two billion will be living in temperatures outside this range.
Locations that will like become safe havens as temperatures rise include:
Along with Nordic countries, these locations will likely see an expansion of existing towns and cities.
Over a billion people may opt to move to cooler places with lower air pollution. Get ahead of the mass immigration due to climate change. Prepare now, have a Plan B for the next imminent crisis, and secure citizenship to benefit your children and grandchildren.
Economic Freedom – Singapore
Economic stability plays a vital role in the overall rankings of the best countries and terms of job security and quality of life.
Job prospects, a thriving economy, and a high standard of living are all attractive to those looking to relocate for a better quality of life. Affordable healthcare services and housing are also crucial.
According to a worldwide survey, nations such as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the UAE are perceived as some of the most economically stable.
As Western countries like the US and many European Union states witness a decline in economic freedom due to higher taxes, increased regulations, and hostility to business, Singapore provides a thriving economic powerhouse known for its unprecedented level of economic freedom.
Singapore’s government has prioritized modernizing the economy and is focused on attracting high-end industrial production, offering low taxes, and a business-friendly environment.
You can also earn a benefit from higher interest rates on your cash by using the best offshore banks. Emerging world currencies and banks can provide double-digit interest rates and are just as safe as banks in Western countries.
Safest Countries – Iceland
The Global Peace Index, a report of the world’s most peaceful and safest countries, ranks Iceland as the safest place to live.
- New Zealand
While some enjoy the tranquillity and rugged landscape, we think Iceland is probably too remote for most, whereas affordable EU countries like Croatia and Portugal might be better options.
Political Stability – Liechtenstein
A secure political system, low crime rates, and a reliable legal framework are essential for foreigners looking to settle somewhere new.
Stability and safety are crucial considerations when deciding which country you want to relocate to.
Stability depends on levels of violent crime, public safety, the legal system, minimal crime rates, and the government’s resistance to unrest.
It is not surprising that European countries, including Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and Spain, enjoy high stability.
A world report listed the following countries as the most stable:
- New Zealand
Of course, it’s not just about political stability. Financial stability and banking stability also matters. Again Liechtenstein and Switzerland score high here though our founder Mr. Henderson still prefers Singapore as a banking jurisdiction as he considers the level of service to be far superior.
Quality Education – Germany
The education system offered by a country, from free public secondary education to higher education, is especially important to international students and those with young families. The best countries in terms of the overall education system are:
In Europe, Germany offers the best in terms of free public secondary education, international schools, and universities.
The latest QS World University Rankings for 2023, named The Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) in the USA number one, holdings its spot for the ninth consecutive year.
Asian universities are on the rise, with 26 of them now in the global top 100. Singapore, for example, offers top education, with the NTU Singapore ranking in the top list with some 6,900 international students.
Healthcare System – France
According to a World Health Organization assessment, France offers the best overall health, followed by:
Closely linked with life expectancy is how good a country’s healthcare system is. So no surprise that other countries that provide excellent healthcare are Japan and Italy, which offers free universal healthcare.
Asia has become dominant when it comes to the best healthcare. Interestingly, despite the USA spending more on private healthcare than other high-income nations, they have fallen behind in recent years.
The good news for individuals ready to relocate overseas is that you can get better healthcare at a significantly lower cost than in the US.
The idea that only Western countries have advanced medical practices and facilities is very outdated. Non-Western nations are striving to improve their healthcare offerings to attract medical tourism.
Places like Kuala Lumpur and Prague understand the significance of remaining competitive and are eager to attract medical tourists with quality healthcare.
Best Countries to Live
So we have looked at which country is best when it comes to a specific aspect of quality of life, but what are the countries that offer the best in terms of the overall package, as well as investment opportunities and international tax planning?
There is no point in choosing a country where it is impossible to gain entry. A streamlined and straightforward process for obtaining visas, residency permits, and citizenship can make it easier for foreigners to settle in a new country without painful bureaucracy. Realistically more often than not, these processes are complex and drawn out.
At Nomad Capitalist, we have assisted our high-net-worth clients in obtaining residency in 38 countries and citizenship in 28 countries.
Our client’s motivation for foreign residency and citizenship varies from seeking greater freedom and pursuing investment and business opportunities to preparing for the next emergency with a Plan B.
The duration of stay required for qualification for a residency permit vary by country, with some requiring more investment. Ultimately, there is no one size fits all; the country of choice depends on your particular requirements.
Although the ideal country is different for everyone, you will have noticed that some countries repeatedly appear in our breakdown of the best countries to live in, so let’s look at these first.
Ireland – Low Corporate Tax
Located in Western Europe, Ireland has become a favorite and has a strong economy thanks to its low corporate tax rates and skilled workforce.
According to US New World Report, Ireland rates as one of the top countries with a well-developed public education system.
If you are looking for a good job market, then the capital city, Dublin, is the spot. A multicultural melting pot, Dublin’s tech scene has become as lively as its nightlife. Home to multinational tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, Dublin also has a thriving start-up location.
Although ideal for young professionals, there may be better options for young families, as the cost of living in the Irish capital city has soared in recent years.
Irish citizens are also citizens of the European Union, meaning you could have the freedom to live, travel and work anywhere within the EU.
Obtaining second citizenship in Ireland is remarkably easy if you are lucky enough to have an Irish parent, grandparent, or even great-grandparent.
The country has a welcoming policy that grants citizenship to those with Irish ancestry, with over 10 million non-resident passport holders already taking advantage of dual citizenship from this country.
Like Ireland, many other top quality-of-life countries offer citizenship by descent. Contact us today to discover more about how our citizenship by decent service can make the whole process much simpler.
Luxembourg – Business Environment
Are you a high-net-worth individual looking for a better quality of life?
It is no wonder the tiny nation of Luxembourg ranks among the best countries to live in, as it is also the richest country in the world, with a GDP (PPP) per capita of $115,683.49.
Apart from its excellent political and economic stability, Luxembourg boasts one of the best financial sectors, making it the world’s most important private banking center.
Luxembourg is also a founding member of international organizations, notably the OECD, the UN, NATO, and the Benelux Economic Union.
Singapore – Store Wealth
Singapore has come a long way in recent years, focusing on building an education system and business environment. Its hard work has paid off, and Singapore, as outlined above, is now ranked as one of the best spots if you are looking for economic and financial freedom.
Singapore is attracting more wealthy expats and investors looking for the best country to store their wealth, including gold and silver. With around one in five residents being a millionaire, Singapore is becoming the go-to destination for the wealthy.
Singapore does not only offer a strong economy and a great place to bank and store your wealth but also, the overall quality of life is very attractive.
Recognized for being one of the safest cities in the world, Singapore has rare incidences of violent crime. This is due to its overall high level of political and social stability, adding to its appeal.
Boasting one of the best life expectancies in the world, Singapore’s healthcare system is also one of the most advanced, supported by both a public healthcare system and a thriving private healthcare sector.
Switzerland – Lump-Sum Tax
Switzerland is a small country in Central Europe, famous for its natural beauty.
Famous for its incredible wealth, Switzerland’s neutrality and continued dedication to being one of the most favorable tax systems make it one of the best places to live in the world and is the perfect environment for those looking to live in Europe.
Although the cost of living is notoriously high in Switzerland, for many high-net-worth individuals, the lump-sum tax option saves thousands in taxes each year.
There are alternative countries that offer lump sum options for high-net-worth individuals. However, Switzerland is a straightforward alternative with the opportunity to live in Europe with a high quality of life.
Switzerland is one of the world’s least corrupt countries, providing an exceptional quality of life with a top education and health system.
Alternative best countries to live in
You won’t find these two countries on most top-country ranking lists, but they are worth considering when looking at the best countries to move to.
Mexico is the third most populous nation in the Americas, and believe it or not, may now be safer than the US.
For one thing, you have a much greater chance of being shot in a US city like Baltimore than you would in parts of Mexico.
Geographically close to the US, Mexico provides a familiar lifestyle for many foreigners, particularly American expats, with lots of cultural similarities.
Would you like to retire to Mexico? The expenses involved in retiring in Mexico can vary greatly depending on what you want, and it is worth noting that taxes cannot be avoided.
Managing finances and taxes abroad can be challenging. Our team can help create and implement a holistic plan to legally reduce tax bills and diversify assets if you plan to retire in Mexico.
Colombia has come a long way since the 80s and there is now a growing interest in the country by corporations and expats. The country now offers upscale living and a booming economy.
The cost of living in Colombia is low, with an array of amenities and infrastructure that offer a high quality first-world lifestyle.
Some of the major cities in Colombia include Bogota and Cali.
You can get a second citizenship in Colombia by investing in property or business within the country and visiting at least once per year. Expats and investors can acquire citizenship in as little as five years.
Find Your Country
Choosing the country for your offshore plan is more about who you are and your definition of a perfect life.
Our personalized offshore strategies cater to the needs of high-net-worth entrepreneurs, ensuring you are treated the best wherever they go.
Different countries offer lucrative tax-free lifestyles, hassle-free living, beautiful beaches, and business-friendly regulations to attract businesses and investments.
Have you decided which the best country for you is? Do you need some help to understand your options? Become a Nomad Capitalist client, and we will work with you as the architects and general contractors of your holistic strategy taking you where you are treated best.