Published On: November 20th, 2023Categories: MSN, Best Of Lists

13 Better Places to Live Than the U.S. (For Starters)

13 Better Places to Live Than the U.S. (For Starters)

Choosing the right place to live can profoundly impact your quality of life. It’s not just about the scenery, the culture, or the people. Your environment can affect everything from your mental health to your career progression. But with 195 countries in the world, how do you find the perfect one?

After considering the various factors that contribute to a country’s livability, let’s dive into the 13 best countries to live in 2023. Each of these countries stands out in terms of quality of life, stability of its political system, healthcare and educational offerings, offering a unique blend of benefits that make them attractive destinations for potential expats.

From the sunny beaches of Spain to the vibrant culture of Japan, there’s something for everyone:

13) Canada

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Our neighbor to the north is known for its friendly residents and wild, untamed expanse interspersed with sleek, world-class cities. Canada consistently ranks among the top countries in the world for quality of life, thanks to its strong economy, excellent healthcare system, and safe and clean environment — despite recent fires. The country has a strong economy and stable government.

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents also have access to free healthcare, which includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs. This is a major financial advantage for immigrants, who often have to pay for healthcare in their home countries. Canada’s new Digital Nomad Visa will offer these benefits to thousands of new American emigrants.

12) Switzerland

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Known for its breathtaking landscapes and world-class chocolates, Switzerland is more than just a tourist paradise. It offers a superior standard of living, a robust economy, and stable government. The country is renowned for its low unemployment rate, substantial gross domestic products per capita, and a strong economy driven by a highly advanced service sector and low corporate tax rates, in addition to a high-tech manufacturing sector.

However, it’s not just about the economy. Switzerland also offers outstanding healthcare facilities and educational institutions, low crime rates, and a diverse culture and international community. However, it’s worth noting that, while Switzerland offers an exceptional quality of life, the cost of living is substantial compared to some other EU countries. Get our report on Switzerland’s healthcare system here.

11) Australia

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Australia, a country known for its stunning beaches and unique wildlife, offers much more than natural beauty to its residents. The country provides a high standard of living, backed by a strong economy and a multicultural society.

Australia is renowned for its healthcare and educational institutions, providing a range of services to its residents. The country also has a low crime rate and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Add to that the friendly locals and a vibrant culture, and it’s clear why Australia consistently ranks among the best countries to live in.

10) Denmark

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A small Scandinavian country, Denmark packs a big punch when it comes to quality of life. The country offers a high standard of living, backed by a strong economy and excellent healthcare and social welfare systems.

Denmark is a leader in promoting environmental sustainability. It works hard to reduce its carbon footprint and protect natural resources, resulting in low air pollution. The citizens of this country benefit from its well-developed social welfare system. High-quality healthcare, education and social services are available to all. These factors, combined with its cultural richness and low crime rate, make Denmark an attractive destination for expats.

9) Hong Kong

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Hong Kong, a bustling metropolis known for its iconic skyline and vibrant culture, also ranks among the best places to live in China. As a capital city, it is a melting pot of East and West, offering a dynamic lifestyle to its residents.

Hong Kong boasts a thriving economy, a comprehensive healthcare system, and an exemplary education system. It also has a low crime rate, and its diverse culture and international community add to its appeal. However, the cost of living in Hong Kong is relatively high, particularly in terms of housing.

8) Spain

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Spain is a country with a Mediterranean climate, which means that it enjoys warm, sunny weather for most of the year, drawing millions of tourists and immigrants who enjoy the art, music, beaches, restaurants, and nightlife. The cost of living in Spain is relatively affordable, especially compared to other European countries. You can find a comfortable apartment or house for rent, and food and transportation are also relatively inexpensive. The country offers several expat-friendly visa options, including a Digital Nomad Visa, a Non-Lucrative Visa, and a Golden Visa.

Spain has a universal healthcare system called the Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS). The SNS provides free healthcare to all residents of Spain, regardless of their ability to pay. The system is funded by a combination of general taxation and social security contributions. Get our report on Spain’s healthcare system here.

7) Japan

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Japan has some of the richest and most fascinating culture in the world, dating back thousands of years, including its modern pop culture that has a global following. The country is very safe and clean with a low crime rate. The environment is also very clean, with strict regulations on pollution and waste disposal. Public transportation is excellent, with a legendary rail system.

Japan is a global leader in many industries, such as technology, manufacturing, and finance, with many opportunities for foreigners to find good jobs. The Japanese government is stable and democratic—it’s been in place for over 70 years and has successfully navigated the challenges of the postwar period and the 21st century. Japanese society is influenced by Confucian values, which emphasize respect for authority and social harmony. These values have helped to create a stable and orderly society in Japan.

6) New Zealand

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New Zealand is heaven for thrill-seekers and adventure lovers. There are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, zip-lining, bungee jumping, and other outdoor activities. The country offers one national park and reserve after another, showcasing stunning scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities. The country seems to work out its need for excitement in the great outdoors; its government, economy, and safety ratings are pleasantly boring and predictable.

New Zealand has a universal public healthcare system. This means that all New Zealand citizens and permanent residents have access to healthcare, regardless of their ability to pay. The system is funded by a combination of general taxation and user fees.

5) Norway

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Norway, a country synonymous with stunning fjords and the Northern Lights, is a haven for those seeking a high standard of living. Known for its comprehensive social welfare system and commitment to environmental sustainability, it offers residents a host of benefits.

In addition to its natural beauty, Norway provides safety, stable politics, and a highly developed public education system. The country’s high standard of living is complemented by its robust economy, making it an attractive destination for expats. However, like Switzerland, the cost of living in Norway is relatively high.

4) Iceland

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Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is renowned for its remarkable landscapes, comprising glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs. But its appeal goes beyond its natural beauty. The country offers a high standard of living, bolstered by a strong social welfare system. In Iceland, residents have access to a range of services, including healthcare, education, and social security. Furthermore, the country is committed to environmental sustainability, making it an ideal destination for those who value green living. However, similar to Norway and Switzerland, the cost of living in Iceland is relatively high.

3) Germany

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Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, offers a high standard of living, strong economy, and commitment to multiculturalism and environmental sustainability. The country is known for its robust economy, elevated standard of living, and advanced healthcare system. Düsseldorf and Stuttgart stand out as major cities here, in addition to capital Berlin.

Germany boasts a world-class education system and a culturally diverse population. Free higher education is offered to students from across the globe, investing in international students for the benefit of all. The country is also a pioneer in environmental sustainability, having pledged to reduce its carbon footprint and conserve its natural resources. With its well-developed public transport system and extensive cultural offerings, Germany is an attractive destination for expats. Get our report on Germany’s healthcare system here.

2) Ireland

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Ireland, the Emerald Isle, is known for its lush landscapes, friendly locals, and vibrant culture. The country offers a high quality of life, backed by a strong economy and a well-developed social welfare system.

The Irish government provides a range of services to its citizens, including access to high-quality healthcareeducation, and social services. The country also has a low crime rate, adding to its appeal as a destination for expats. However, like many of the countries on this list, the cost of living in Ireland is relatively high.

1) Sweden

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Sweden is an extraordinary Scandinavian gem, known for its high standard of living. It has a vibrant culture and a well-developed social welfare system. The country offers a range of benefits to its residents, including access to high-quality healthcare and education, a low crime rate, and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.

Sweden’s well-developed public education and healthcare systems contribute to its high quality of life. The country also boasts a strong economy, making it an attractive destination for professionals looking for job opportunities. However, like its Scandinavian neighbors, the cost of living in Sweden is relatively high.

Best Places to Retire in the World: 15 Countries for American Retirees

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While US citizens have traditionally lagged behind other countries in moving abroad, the trend seems to be shifting. As they reach retirement age, Americans seek to stretch their monthly pension and social security. They want to find affordable countries with high quality medical care that won’t bankrupt them. Retirees want to embrace local culture or find retirement destinations that aren’t so politically divided.

Best Places to Retire in the World: 15 Countries for American Retirees

You Can Get Citizenship by Ancestry in These 20 Countries

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More Americans are pursuing citizenship by ancestry in other countries by tracing their lineage and presenting proof of descent. Some countries, like South Africa, India, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, offer citizenship by ancestry, but at least one of your parents must have citizenship there, but many other countries offer citizenship to more than just the children of citizens.

No matter what country’s citizenship you pursue, the process takes time, and you may need help from an immigration attorney. Facebook groups are a great resource to learn from others who’ve been there.

You Can Get Citizenship by Ancestry in These 20 Countries

5 Easy Ways to Find the Best Country to Live In

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How do you find the best country to live in?

It’s an impossible task, really; a great country for someone else might be a disaster for you. You might want low cost of living with universal healthcare and income equality. Maybe personal safety in an attractive destination where English is widely spoken. Perhaps you want a small country offering quality education in an international school system.

With nearly 200 countries to choose from, picking your top countries gets tough quickly. Here are a few ways to find the lifestyle that suits your needs:

5 Easy Ways to Find the Best Country to Live In

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Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.

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Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.