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Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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Best Countries to Live In

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With 195 nations to choose from, determining the best countries to live in is challenging, to say the least.

Fortunately, Nomad Capitalist is here to break down the best countries to live in and help you solve questions like:

  • Where can I find 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 our in-depth analysis looks at the most important considerations. These include political stability and safety, investment, economic stability, education and healthcare.

At Nomad Capitalist, we’ve helped our clients secure residence permits in 38 countries, acting as architects and general contractors to create holistic plans. We’re all about freedom, including having the freedom to acquire residence and citizenship in one of the best countries to live in. Apply to become a client today.

Quality of Life: Demark

Quality of Life Demark
Denmark, among various countries in Northern Europe, ranks high in overall quality of life.

The idea of quality of life goes beyond the basic necessities of food, housing, education, healthcare and employment. It involves all aspects of life, including job opportunities, political stability, individual freedoms and environmental conditions. 

The Social Progress Index for 2023 evaluated the progress of 170 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:

  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Finland 
  • Iceland
  • Sweden.

Northern and Western Europe seem 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.

Language and communication are major factors in how well you can integrate. Many are more comfortable in a country where English is widely spoken or where there is a willingness to communicate in various languages.

Happiness: Finland

Finland Safest Countries in Europe for 2023 1
Finland is consistently ranked as the happiest country in the world.

Finland, situated in Northernmost Europe, tops the World Happiness Report list for the seventh year in a row. So, why are the Finns so happy?

The happiness rankings consider various factors such as health, longevity, 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: Hong Kong

Average Life Expectancy Hong Kong
The population enjoy a healthy lifestyle and have a good healthcare system.

You might be surprised to learn that Western nations like the United States and Britain did not make the top countries to live in terms of longevity. In fact, the lifespan of US citizens is just 79.74. 

Hong Kong 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 rates of longevity include: 

  • Japan
  • Macao 
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • Italy
  • Malta

Human Climate Niche: Ireland

Human Climate Niche Ireland scaled
Ireland’s importance as a climate niche nation may increase as the weather shifts.

A study by the Nature Sustainability Journal has revealed that global warming 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 likely become safe havens as temperatures rise include:

  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • Estonia.

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 looming crisis, and secure citizenship to benefit your children and grandchildren.

Economic Freedom: Singapore

Economic Freedom Singapore
Singapore is a high-class and advanced nation.

Economic stability plays a vital role in the overall rankings of the best countries in 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 that are perceived as some of the most economically stable are: 

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • Ireland 
  • Taiwan.

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 autonomy, Singapore provides a thriving economic powerhouse known for its unprecedented level of economic freedom.

Singapore’s government has prioritised modernising the economy and is focused on attracting high-end industrial production, offering low taxes and an incredibly business-friendly environment.

You can also 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

Safest Countries Iceland
Iceland ranks high on the safety index, making it an excellent choice for a secure and good quality of life

The Global Peace Index, a report of the world’s most peaceful and safest countries, ranks Iceland as the safest place to live, followed by: 

  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Singapore.

While some enjoy the tranquillity and rugged landscape, Iceland is probably too remote for most. Affordable EU countries that make the top 20, like Croatia and Portugal, might be better options.

Political Stability: Liechtenstein

Political Stability Liechtenstein scaled
Liechtenstein has a low crime rate and is a stunning land to call home.

A secure political system, low crime rates and a reliable legal framework are essential for investors and entrepreneurs looking to settle somewhere new.

Stability and safety are crucial considerations when deciding which country to relocate to.

Stability depends on violent crime levels, public safety, the legal system, minimal crime rates and the government’s resistance to unrest.

Unsurprisingly, European countries, including Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Spain, enjoy high stability.

A world report listed the following countries as the most stable:

  • Liechtenstein
  • Andorra
  • Singapore
  • Aruba
  • New Zealand.

Of course, it’s not just about political stability. Financial and banking stability also matter. Again, Liechtenstein and Switzerland score high here, though our founder, Andrew Henderson, still prefers Singapore as a banking jurisdiction as he considers the level of service to be superior.

Quality Education: Germany

Quality Education Germany
Most countries don’t come close to Germany’s fantastic education system.

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 include:

  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Canada.

In Europe, Germany offers the best in terms of free public secondary education, international schools and universities.

The latest QS World University Rankings named The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the number one in the US, holding its spot for the tenth consecutive year.

Asian universities are advancing, with many now in the global top 100. For one, Singapore provides high-quality education, with NTU Singapore ranking among the best. 

Healthcare System: France

Healthcare System France scaled
France is an exquisite culture with excellent healthcare systems.

According to the last World Health Organization Assessment (since discontinued), France offers the best overall healthcare, followed by:

  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Oman
  • Austria
  • Japan.

The quality of a country’s healthcare system is closely linked to longevity. So, it is no surprise that Japan and Italy, which offer free universal health systems, also provide excellent healthcare.

Asia has become dominant when it comes to the best healthcare. Interestingly, despite the fact that the US spends more on private healthcare than other high-income nations, it has 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 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 in

So, we have looked at which country is best when it comes to specific elements that contribute to the quality of life. But which countries offer the best 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, residence permits and citizenship can make settling in a new country easier without painful bureaucracy. Realistically, more often than not, these processes are complex and drawn out.

The duration of stay required to qualify for a residence varies by country, with some requiring more investment. Ultimately, there is no one size fits all; the country of choice depends on your individual requirements.

At Nomad Capitalist, we have assisted our high-net-worth clients obtain residence in 38 countries and citizenship in 28 countries.

Our clients’ motivations for second residency and citizenship vary from seeking greater freedom and pursuing investment and business opportunities to preparing for the next emergency with a Plan B.

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

Ireland Low Corporate Tax jpg
Ireland is a wonderful place to enjoy a good life.

Located in Western Europe, Ireland has become a favourite thanks to its strong economy, low corporate tax rates and skilled workforce.

Ireland ranks 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 scene.

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 descent service can make the whole process much simpler.

Luxembourg – Business Environment

Luxembourg Business Environment
One of the benefits of Luxembourg is its stable political environment and government.

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 US$143,740. 

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 centre. 

Luxembourg is also a founding member of international organisations, notably the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Benelux.

Singapore – Store Wealth 

Singapore Store Wealth 
Of the many other countries to choose from, Singapore is one of the best for business.

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. 

The culture 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 millionaires, 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 its overall quality of life is also very attractive.  

Recognised 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. 

Singapore’s healthcare system is also one of the most advanced, supported by both a public healthcare system and a thriving private healthcare sector. No surprise, it also boasts one of the best life expectancies in the world. 

Switzerland – Lump-Sum Tax 

Switzerland Lump Sum Tax 
Switzerland is one of the most beautiful European countries.

Switzerland is a small Central European nation famous for its natural beauty and incredible wealth. Switzerland’s neutrality and continued dedication to being one of the most favourable 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, the lump-sum tax option saves thousands in taxes each year for many high-net-worth individuals. 

There are alternative countries that offer lump sum options for high-net-worth individuals. However, Switzerland is a straightforward choice, offering the opportunity to live in Europe and enjoy 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 in most top-country ranking lists, but they are worth considering when looking at the best countries to move to. 

Mexico

Mexico 3
Mexico has some of the best healthcare in Latin America.

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 offers a familiar lifestyle for many foreigners, particularly North American expats, with many cultural similarities.

Would you like to retire to Mexico? The expenses involved in retiring in Mexico can vary greatly depending on your goals, and it is worth noting that taxes cannot be avoided.

Managing finances and taxes abroad can be challenging. Nomad Capitalist’s 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

Life in Colombia
Colombia is another excellent country.

Colombia has come a long way since the ’80s and there is now a growing interest in the nation from corporations and expats. The country now offers upscale living and a booming economy.

Meanwhile, the cost of living remains low and the nation offers an array of amenities and infrastructure that present the opportunity for a high-quality lifestyle in major cities like Bogota and Medellin.

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

Find Your Country
Citizens of other nations may experience a better quality of life than you currently.

Choosing the nation for your offshore plan is more about who you are and your definition of a perfect life. 

Our personalised 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 nation is best for you? Do you need help understanding your options?

Nomad Capitalist helps seven- and eight-figure entrepreneurs and investors create a bespoke strategy using our uniquely successful methods. This will allow you to keep more of your own money, create new wealth faster and be protected from whatever happens in just three steps. Discover how we do things here.

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