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Best Countries To Be Born In

What are the 20 best countries that will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead?
2013 data according to Economist Intelligence Unit. Full List
Scores are out of ten
Does not include small countries such as Luxembourg, Iceland, etc...
Quiz by Quizzer6794
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Last updated: October 23, 2019
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First submittedFebruary 27, 2016
Times taken41,665
Average score80.0%
Rating3.90
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Score
Country
8.22
Switzerland
8.12
Australia
8.09
Norway
8.02
Sweden
8.01
Denmark
8.00
Singapore
7.95
New Zealand
Score
Country
7.94
Netherlands
7.81
Canada
7.76
Finland
7.74
Ireland
7.73
Austria
7.67
Taiwan
7.51
Belgium
Score
Country
7.38
Germany
7.38
United States
7.33
United Arab Emirates
7.25
South Korea
7.23
Israel
7.21
Italy
103 Recent Comments
+3
Level 66
Nov 3, 2017
Saudi Arabia and Israel and not France or UK. Hahaha!
+1
Level 87
Nov 3, 2017
Saudi Arabia is not in the list though...
+6
Level 82
Nov 3, 2017
Israel over France and the UK makes pretty good sense. Saudi wouldn't... but as kolp pointed out it's not on here. Maybe you're confusing Saudi Arabia with the United Arab Emirates? I've lost track of how many people I've known who didn't know the difference between the two.
+2
Level 56
Feb 28, 2024
Things have changed. A lot of people would prefer to live in France or UK than Israel now
+1
Level 82
Nov 3, 2017
Since everyone is obviously too lazy to make a single click, here's a breakdown of the criteria:

The independent variables in the estimating equation for 2006 include:

Material well-being as measured by GDP per capita (in $, at 2006 constant PPPS)

Life expectancy at birth

The quality of family life based primarily on divorce rates

The state of political freedoms

Job security (measured by the unemployment rate)

Climate (measured by two variables: the average deviation of minimum and maximum monthly temperatures from 14 degrees Celsius; and the number of months in the year with less than 30mm rainfall)

Personal physical security ratings (based primarily on recorded homicide rates and ratings for risk from crime and terrorism)

Quality of community life (based on membership in social organisations)

Governance (measured by ratings for corruption)

Gender equality (measured by the share of seats in parliament held by women)

+2
Level 82
Nov 3, 2017
My thoughts on this:

CLIMATE! yes finally a list that includes that. But... but... wtf!!?? FOURTEEN!!!?? 14 is NOT the ideal temperature. It would be maybe 25. Is this organization based in Iceland?

Material well-being, fine. Though I don't think GDP tells the whole story maybe include happiness index or suicide rates.

I would not count divorce rates as a bad thing. Having a realistic understanding of relationship dynamics and acknowledging that sometimes marriages ought to end is a good thing. Much better than, say, the Philippines where divorce is illegal. Though better to not get married at all.

Unemployment rate: probably as I guessed before a big part of why Spain is omitted.

+1
Level 87
Nov 4, 2017
Not a lot of information is given on the calculation method for climate, but going by some logical metrics, countries scoring well on this criteria would have a climate similar to that of the south of France. Makes it a pretty good benchmark I guess, though still too warm for me.
+3
Level 70
Sep 22, 2018
25 might be the ideal temperature but this is measured as an average deviation. If it were an average deviation from 25 that would mean 60 degrees was as good as -10. I have experienced temperatures of -10 degrees (I think), and though it wasn't anywhere near ideal I didn't die. At 60 degrees (which it has never been anywhere ever on Earth since records began) I think it would be very difficult to survive for extended periods of time.
+1
Level 82
Aug 14, 2019
-10 and 60 should both be considered unlivable and immediately disqualifying. I've experienced both 0 and 50 before and personally would prefer 50, but both temperatures, if you were left outside without proper equipment or attire for extended periods of time, would kill you. But 0 would actually kill you faster and you would need more to survive it. 10 is too cold and 40 is too hot. 20 to 30 would be great. So I maintain, 25 a much better starting point than meat-locker level 14.
+1
Level 49
Oct 24, 2019
Haha, temperatures always going to be a controversial thing!
+4
Level 79
Nov 2, 2019
I disagree. To me the ideal mean annual temperature would be around 16˚C for a temperate climate, given that there should be an annual range of roughly ±15 to 20˚C. This means that during the height of summer the average high would be around 31 to 36˚C (quite to considerably hot), and average low around 0˚C to slightly below freezing in the winter (which would be a mild winter compared to sub-Arctic/polar climates). 25˚C would slightly too hot for me given the annual fluctuations - although I come from a tropical country. It has been shown that the ideal mean temperature for a country with high wealth and quality of life is around 16˚C.
+4
Level 79
Nov 2, 2019
There are many regions of the world where people live in climates where temperatures drop far below -10˚C and survive perfectly well. Very few people would prefer a climate of 50˚C to 0. 14˚C is most definitely not 'meat-locker' level or frigid - I'm from Malaysia and find this temperature ideal when wearing two layers of clothing.
+1
Level 82
Jan 10, 2020
Jack: I think you are a different species than me. That's nuts. 14 C is only suitable for caribou, not humans. Also places with huge swings in temperature are awful. Bad for my joints. Bad for my skin. Bad for my seasonal allergies. I don't understand why everyone doesn't just move to Hawaii honestly. But if forced to live in a place with huge swings in temperature, as stated above, 50 is still better than 0. 50 isn't even that bad if you just plant some trees, get in the shade, drink lots of pina coladas. You wouldn't want to go outside on a day that was 50 degrees out, but when it's 0 you can't get away from that even inside it gets in your bones. But honestly forget 0 and 50 both are horrible- 25 all year round plus or minus 7 degrees maximum would be perfect.
+2
Level 79
Apr 3, 2020
Interesting.
+1
Level 64
Nov 19, 2020
I like when it freezes a bit in winter, so the bugs get killed.
+1
Level 82
Nov 3, 2017
Homicide rates: fair to look at. Though, while insecure Europeans *desperate* to find anything to cling to to prop up their sanctimonious condemnation of Americans as inferior love to jump on the lower homicide rates in *some* European countries as justification for her smugness, the difference in probability that you will be murdered in any of these countries is absolutely minuscule. The chance that you'll be the victim of terrorism is even less. Yes, even in Israel.

governance: hard to measure accurately.

gender equality: Good to include. But I can think of far better ways to measure this.

+3
Level 79
Nov 2, 2019
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate , only two European countries (Russia and Ukraine) have a higher intentional homicide rate than the U.S. The U.S. is still in the upper quartile with regards to IHR. Only 7 seven other (World Bank) high-income country out of 79 have a higher IHR.
+1
Level 82
Jan 10, 2020
^so what I said was accurate, then.
+6
Level 65
Nov 3, 2017
For Israel I'm sure it's great to be born a Jew but not a Palestinian
+1
Level 71
Nov 3, 2017
even Palestinian Jews are not safe
+6
Level 82
Nov 3, 2017
if by "Palestinian" you mean Israeli Muslim or Israeli Christian or Israeli who self-identifies as "Arab"... it's still far, far better to be born in Israel than in... Egypt, or Lebanon, or Jordan, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or Iraq, or the Islamic State, or Sudan, or Somalia, or Djibouti, or Eritrea, or Libya, or Iran, or Turkey, or Armenia.... those are your options in the area.

If by "Palestinian" you mean non-Israeli citizen born to parents from the "West Bank"... well... even if you live out your entire life in Ramallah or Nablus, you're going to be much better off than the average Syrian, Egyptian, Iraqi or resident of Daesh and you'll enjoy much better freedoms and opportunities than residents of Saudi Arabia or Iran. And you would also have greater opportunity to become an Israeli citizen than residents of Beirut or Amman which, if you pursued, would make your life better.

If by "Palestinian" you mean resident of Gaza, yeah, that would suck.

+3
Level 66
Nov 3, 2017
Great to see you are still out there, patrolling and giving comment in a detailed way. What would JetPunk do without you? Every site needs an........
+4
Level 90
Nov 3, 2017
Intellectual who knows what he’s talking about most of the time? I think that’s how that sentence goes.
+1
Level 82
Nov 4, 2017
If Napoleon Bonaparte can find time to whisper from the great beyond his thoughts on what it means to be born in Israel, I can find time to answer back with my own.
+2
Level 66
Nov 4, 2017
Thank the lord for Kalby. He (for he must be a he, surely Shirley) is a much needed JP eccentric. It gives him a role, if nothing else...gawd bless ya KB!
+4
Level 48
Nov 3, 2017
"Does not include small countries"

Includes Singapore

Haha

+2
Level 60
Nov 3, 2017
I would not want to be born in Israel. Not now, not ever !
+1
Level 32
Nov 3, 2017
Taiwan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
+1
Level 14
Nov 3, 2017
OH MY GOSH. TAIWAN'S ACTUALLY ON THERE!!!

WHOOOO HOO!

+2
Level 68
Nov 4, 2017
Living in New Zealand and loving it.
+1
Level 61
Nov 4, 2017
America is pretty far down the list in the minds of whoever created this list. It's the most guessed answer however, so I think we can see who's winning in the court of public opinion :-)
+6
Level 82
Nov 4, 2017
it's based on numbers not opinion.
+4
Level 44
Dec 5, 2017
Or maybe people guess their own country first and most user are from the US?
+7
Level 78
Jan 25, 2020
People type USA in just about every country quiz, unless it is about a different continent.
+2
Level 36
Nov 4, 2017
Poeple who do not know much about the UAE need to educate themselves. You will be surprised how good they have it there in the UAE, esp. Dubai. Dubai is like a paradise....15 million tourist every year visit it. They are surely doing something right.
+1
Level 82
Nov 4, 2017
Social welfare is incredibly strong... probably to the point of being excessive there. The government is very wealthy. It's GDP per capita score is probably the thing that gives it the most points on the above criteria. There are other problems with the UAE, though, and it falls short in most of the other metrics used for the list.
+1
Level 55
Nov 5, 2017
Interesting...USA comes in at 16th, but then why in heck does everybody and their cousins try to get in here by hook or crook, risking their lives in many cases?
+1
Level 37
Nov 6, 2017
Because they're not here yet. Or want to come for nefarious purposes.
+1
Level 49
Feb 15, 2019
Pretty far from "everyone" I have to say. Besides, 16th is still pretty good so perhaps that's why.
+1
Level 30
Nov 5, 2017
Taiwan isn't even a country
+2
Level 53
Feb 5, 2021
Found Xi!
+2
Level 61
Nov 6, 2017
So Israël and the USA before Spain or France or even Italy ?

Well, it is done by an US organisation I suppose...

:')

+3
Level 84
Nov 7, 2017
Israel and UAE on the list. And into the trash it goes.
+7
Level 82
Nov 10, 2017
best way to deal with any information that contradicts your opinions.
+2
Level 35
Nov 9, 2017
Interesting quiz! <3 Israel <3
+5
Level 82
Nov 10, 2017
Both the Americans crying about the USA placing less than 1st, and the Europeans crying about the USA placing at all or above whatever country they happen to be from: you both look pathetic. And most of the people here commenting on the Middle East appear simply ignorant. Not going to reply to every one of you individually so this takes care of all of them...
+1
Level 56
Jun 3, 2022
Most Americans here are surprised the U.S. even made it onto this list
+1
Level 65
Nov 11, 2017
Netherlands!! :)
+3
Level 44
Dec 5, 2017
Most of the countries are pretty obvious except for Israel. It doesn't really seem like a safe country...

And it might be a good idea to clarify that "small" country refers to population not area and maybe add the exact cutoff point. Otherwise excluding Iceland for being too small but including Singapore doesn't make any sense.

+3
Level 82
Jan 31, 2018
It's an extremely safe country. Beautiful. Vibrant. Full of friendly people. Well developed. Clean. Rich in history and culture. I lived there for a while. Have you ever been?
+4
Level 39
Mar 5, 2018
What? The US is guessed most? There are way more countries where you live better.
+2
Level 82
Aug 31, 2018
All much smaller, less populous, less influential, and less obvious answers, though.
+4
Level 89
May 14, 2018
The absence of Japan surprised me. In my opinion it's definately better to be born in Japan than (most of) The US
+1
Level 82
Aug 31, 2018
If by "most of" you're speaking purely in terms of geographic area I think I probably agree with you. If by "most you" you're talking about the urban and suburban areas where the majority of Americans are born, then I think you're probably wrong. However, I would much rather be born in Japan than in the United Arab Emirates. If this list were based on opinion and not a simple calculation then I would find this odd.
+5
Level 34
Aug 31, 2018
I don't even know why The United States is on this list? And, yes. I'm American
+4
Level 82
Aug 31, 2018
See my post above about the criteria. It's objective and based on numbers, not opinion. You've been brainwashed into hating your own country or falsely believing that the grass is greener elsewhere.
+4
Level 47
Feb 2, 2019
Someone is brainwashed here, that's for sure.
+2
Level 82
Feb 10, 2019
Thanks for having the courage to admit that, Geo. You've taken the first step toward recovery. Looking at the world with an open mind in an objective and properly skeptical way is an exciting thing when you do it for the first time so I envy you. Good luck!
+2
Level 49
Aug 31, 2018
What about UK
+1
Level 82
Aug 31, 2018
Based on the criteria I detailed above if I had to guess I would say 1. high divorce rate 2. lower GDP per capita than many other countries on the list (using Purchasing Power Parity, due to the high cost of living in the UK) 3. higher crime rates than many Western European countries (though the difference is even more negligible than the difference between the US and those same Western European countries) 4. and they were probably docked points for climate due to all the rain.
+2
Level 70
Aug 31, 2018
Wikipedia should never be used as a source because it's always citing another source itself. In this case, it's citing an Economist article from 2012 making predictions about the best places to be born in 2013. The data was already kinda stale when this quiz was made in 2017. Beyond that, there was highly subjective primary research done and even the objective secondary research is rife with cultural biases. But what it does do really, really well is start conversations about these sorts of ideas and what we should be valuing, and that is important.
+1
Level 70
Sep 1, 2018
This quiz should be in 2 parts: 1) Which country is it best to be Born Rich in? ....... 2) Which country is it best to be Born Poor in? ........ Many so called poor countries have the richest people living the life of Gods ..... and some 'Rich countries' have plenty of poverty.
+4
Level 64
Sep 1, 2018
UAE? Not if you're gay!
+1
Level 47
Feb 2, 2019
Why not just say "Does not include small POPULATION countries"? So people know to include Ireland and Singapore and not Iceland
+2
Level 68
Feb 10, 2019
Apparently, this list (not the quiz) is limited to "best" conditions for "western-lifestyle males who happen to practice the dominant religion imposed in their country or that are so rich that religion is not an issue"
+1
Level 46
Feb 10, 2019
If the USA is losing ground as the best place to live, you can blame that on those flaming liberals. Back in the 50's, the US would be #1 hands down.
+4
Level 82
Feb 10, 2019
yeah... back after stalwart Republican and noted conservative Franklin Roosevelt and his famous Same Old Deal did nothing to change the country, right? Back when the highest marginal tax rate on the wealthy was 90%, just like Grover Norquist always advocates for.
+5
Level 81
Feb 11, 2019
Oh the 50s. When taxes were the highest ever, government spending was through the roof, the social safety net was being expanded, the GI Bill was sending thousands of young men to college, and the government was pursuing vast infrastructure projects. On the economic side of things, the 50s were a liberals dream. What we've been living in since the 80s is a conservative dream.
+1
Level 49
Feb 15, 2019
Well, the 50s sound awesome.
+3
Level 82
Jun 1, 2019
I think most conservatives looking back at the 50s have some Ozzie and Harriet fantasy of how things actually were. They ignore the prevailing politics and economics of the age and instead look to things like the socially conservative culture, and perhaps racial and gender inequality (though that's not most of them), as the things that made the 50s great. But mostly it's just nostalgia and rose-colored glasses.
+1
Level 33
Feb 11, 2019
I think they need to clarify 'small country'... Iceland is a small country but UAE isn't? Doesn't make much sense at all.
+3
Level 60
Jun 1, 2019
this data is dumb and biased
+3
Level 82
Oct 23, 2019
The data is what it is. You could say the criteria is dumb (such as claiming the ideal climate is 14 C, that's pretty dumb), but there's nothing wrong with the data.
+1
Level 61
Jun 1, 2019
Only guessed the USA. In other words, I got 100%
+1
Level 43
Aug 14, 2019
I didn't read the 'not including small countries' until after I finished and I spent like 20 seconds trying to work out how Israel made it in where as Luxembourg didn't
+1
Level 69
Aug 14, 2019
Luxembourg is not a small country :/
+5
Level 51
Aug 16, 2019
I am astonished, Japan and UK is not included!!

especially Japan should be high on all the criterias plus alpha.

UAE!! It is an absolute monarchy country, you cant be a politician, you dont have bar on the streets, no horse racing betting, and the food was the worst ever etc.

Ive lived in all 3 countries plus US of course.

+4
Level 87
Nov 25, 2019
Very disputable ranking indeed. Being born in the UAE will not be a walk in the park for women for decades. Whereas even in relatively "macho" countries such as Italy, France or Spain, not only was their situation better in the first place, but it is improving significantly, thanks to a small thing called "democratic debate" and "freedom of the press". Unless it doesn't count, of course.
+3
Level 65
Nov 28, 2019
Israel? Seriously? This place has been at war forever and is bordered by one of the most war torn country in the last decade. No thanks
+1
Level 82
Feb 2, 2020
What difference does it make what borders it? Israel itself is nice.
+2
Level 70
Apr 4, 2020
"Does not include small countries such as iceland" I would not call iceland a small country, it being 100.250km² !! yet singapore is included with 687km² . (And israel, taiwan, belgium, netherlands, south korea, austria, ireland, denmark, switzerland and UAE are all smaller countries)

to me it is like asking which person is taller, but excluding some people because they are poorer. Followed by something like; yea but people with more money are "bigger" because they are more important.

If you are talking about small population say small population, not the size of the country.

+1
Level 28
Jun 27, 2020
I'm laughing at the comments, btw I live in Brazil.
+1
Level 40
Mar 8, 2021
também
+5
Level 71
Aug 26, 2020
I would much more prefer to be born in Spain or Portugal than the UAE, since I'm gay. Wouldn't even want to visit that country before they have equal rights!
+2
Level 40
Mar 8, 2021
The fact that SK is there but no japan... bruh
+1
Level 52
Mar 12, 2021
South Korea overtook Japan on the human development index a while ago, mostly because Japan's economy has been stagnating for decades.
+1
Level 40
Mar 25, 2021
You're right.
+1
Level 51
Aug 5, 2021
LMAO people who didn't put Singapore.. idc what the quiz says you should put it lmao.

By small country they prolly meant the seychelles

+1
Level 28
Sep 25, 2021
just had to make sure sweden was here xD
+4
Level 64
Feb 17, 2022
Wtf is this source. How can USA even make the list, and not france, spain, uk ... USA is worse in any aspect that you can imagine.
+1
Level 56
Jun 3, 2022
Hear me out: maybe the U.S. isn't as terrible as you think it is.

The quiz is about being born in the country, not the experiences you've had while visiting.

(although it's ranking would definitely be higher if it had better gun restrictions)

+1
Level 27
May 10, 2022
why is australia here???????? It's a continent
+1
Level 72
Sep 22, 2022
And a country... Seriously?
+2
Level 30
May 24, 2022
As 1/10 people are Gay - 1/10 can't live in UAE or Singapore - if 1/10 people literally cannot live somewhere it's not really a top place to live now is it?
+2
Level 69
Jun 5, 2022
Shocked Japan doesn't make it. Higher life expectancy than some of the countries that did make it.
+4
Level 38
Sep 11, 2022
i refuse to believe that usa italy or israel are better than uk france and japan.........
+2
Level 50
Oct 13, 2022
HAHAHAH USA, sure.

Long live my Switzerland ❤️

+2
Level 76
Mar 6, 2023
I live in the United States and I can confirm it has definitely fallen off since 2013.

apparently it's so bad that even CUBA is barely ahead of us according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

+1
Level 54
Mar 28, 2024
This hasn't aged well at all!

USA with all the mass shootings? And Israel would definitely not make the cut anymore. Even though the source was debatable to begin with, things have got to be worse off than 10 years ago.

Plus the stipulations are flawed, when "small countries" are discounted, eg Iceland and Luxembourg. If they meant small population, it should have been stated, rather than expecting people to just *know* they didn't mean small area, since that's how it reads.

+1
Level 56
Mar 29, 2024
'Does not include *small* countries like Luxembourg, Iceland'

...

Singapore

+1
Level 81
Apr 9, 2024
I guess it meant to say small population. Despite being 100 times smaller in terms of size, Singapore has a ten times larger population than Iceland.
+1
Level 66
Apr 12, 2024
belgium sneak!
+1
Level 57
May 10, 2024
bro put israel lol