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    Best Countries to Live

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Best Countries to Move To & Retire That Have the Highest Quality of Life

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What makes a country the best place to live? Is it 365 days of sunshine a year? Or is it being able to go out to cheap restaurants and being able to drink all the red wine you can have for a couple of dollars? While we may all have different preferences of what makes a place the best to live for us there is a liveability factor in a place brings that makes it undeniably easy and pleasant to live especially for people looking to move abroad and settle in a new country.

Here is a list of the places we found to be the best places to live when looking for the best quality of life.

Best Countries to Move to & Retire that Have the Highest Quality of Life

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1. Canada

$1.7 trillion

37.1 million


Why Canada is the Best

  • Jaw-dropping outdoors
  • Very welcoming culture
  • Multicultural cities
  • Social healthcare


  • Winter! It's dang cold
  • More government involvement
  • You may need to know french to get a job

Canada, the home of poutine, strong beer and hockey, tops our list of the best countries in the world to live in. In fact, Canada tops almost every list of the best countries to live in! In a study that surveys over 20,000 global citizens from four different regions, Canada has ranked as the number one country in terms of quality of life for the last five years in a row.

Canada has almost everything to offer. It is extremely stable, both politically and economically. It has one of the best public education systems, a well-developed and free national healthcare service, plenty of job and business opportunities, and is regarded as a very safe and peaceful nation. 

Canada also has incredibly beautiful landscapes with plenty of opportunity to explore and travel. Its people are friendly and welcoming. Canada is a melting pot of different cultures and peoples from around the world, and expats will feel right at home.

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2. Switzerland

$705.5 billion

8.5 million


Why Switzerland is the Best

  • The Alps will take your breathe away
  • Fondue 'nuff said
  • Great quality products
  • Very orderly way of life
  • Great ex-pat community


  • Super expensive
  • Homogenous culture
  • Making friends with locals can be a challenge
  • Difficult housing market

Switzerland is another consistent favourite in everyone’s list of countries to live in. This small Central European country surrounded by the Alps is quite literally a fairy tale setting. 


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It topped HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey of the best places to live and work for the last two years running. Switzerland is most well-known for its political neutrality and stability. It also has one of the best standards of living in the world and offers beautiful outdoor living with some breath-taking scenery.

Finding high-paying employment in Switzerland is not difficult, and you can also benefit from its friendly territorial tax system and world-class banking services.  

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3. Australia

$1.4 trillion

25.0 million


Why Australia is the Best

  • Great wages
  • Permaculture is everywhere
  • Amazing quality food
  • Very welcoming environment & easy to meet people


  • Living on the far side of the world can feel isolating
  • Housing market is crazy
  • Traveling abroad is expensive
  • Bro culture

Australia is absolutely massive. Something that you don't realize until you live there. The outback is literally is the outback, a world away from life in the costal areas.

If you live outside the main cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane you will find amazing local scenes in Adelaide, Perth and Broome.

Australia has one of the best living standards in the world, excellent healthcare, and highly developed infrastructure and public service. This, along with its warm climate and beautiful

Australia is one of the best places to live in for solid employment prospects combined with an excellent quality of life. 

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4. New Zealand

$205.0 billion

4.9 million


Why New Zealand is the Best

  • Incredible outdoors
  • Cities are small
  • Slow pace of life
  • Work/life balance is great


  • Can feel isolated living on an island
  • Doesn't have the bustle of cosmopolitan cities
  • Foreign goods are expensive
  • Lack of local job opportunities

Similar to its Oceanic counterpart, the picturesque island nation of New Zealand provides no shortage in the way of employment and education prospects. In fact, its education expenditure as a percentage of GDP is one of the highest in the world.

New Zealand is known for its laid-back and friendly lifestyle, along with its stunning natural landscapes. It is one of the safest countries in the world, with excellent state-sponsored healthcare and good public services.

New Zealand has a small, sparse population, with almost a third residing in Auckland alone. It has become a favourite for British expats and retirees thanks to its safety, political stability, and calm and peaceful surroundings.

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5. Singapore 

$364.2 billion

5.6 million


Why Singapore is the Best

  • Highly trained labor force
  • Great banking and telecommunications infrastructure
  • Everything runs smoothly 
  • Amazing hospitals and healthcare
  • Large expat communities


  • So many rules
  • Not much outdoors
  • Expensive
  • Can be very hot

The tiny city-state of Singapore has become one of the most well-developed and wealthiest nations in the world. It ranks 3rd with the average GDP per capital coming in at 107,694 USD.

In addition, Singapore has one of the best banking systems in the world, friendly tax legislation and simple offshore incorporation laws, making it a great place for entrepreneurs and digital nomads to start a business but also for retires and expats looking for a safe and reliable place to settle down. It is a safe, highly sophisticated, and functional society to live in. 

Singaporeans are healthy and happy people, with a life expectancy of over 80 years. It also offers one of the best education systems in the world. Children from around the globe attend one of the many excellent schools and get to mix with diverse cultures and languages. Public transport, services are world-class ranking in the top #10 place to live according to a number of indicators.

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6. The Scandinavian Countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway

Rounding off our list are the three Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. All three of these countries consistently rank in the top 10 in the quality-of-life rankings, and currently hold 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place respectively.

All three of these countries are also known for their great education systems, high earnings, equality, overall wellbeing and usually rank in the top positions in the world happiness indicator. These are extremely warm and welcoming societies, with thriving ex-pat communities.

The Scandinavian governments look after their citizens well, providing access to top-quality free health services, and many other social support systems.

The only downside that we can find is that in comparison to other countries mentioned there is not as much of an expat community as cultures here tend to be more homogenous especially if you move outside the capital cities. However, we don't let that get in the way 

For more: Best country for Americans to Retire

*All of the stats were taken from and can be found here.


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