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20 Best Countries in the World for 2024 – Based on Economic, Social, and Quality of Life Factors

What is the best country in the world in 2024? According to the newly released U.S. News & World Report Best Countries rankings, Switzerland retains the top spot as the overall #1 best country globally. The rankings evaluate 87 countries based on a global perceptions survey across categories like economic stability, social purpose, and quality of life.

Buying House in Japan

Illustration showcasing the best countries in the world for 2023 based on economic, social, and quality of life factors, featuring iconic symbols from Switzerland, Canada, Australia, and the United States, seamlessly integrated into a Japanese culture-influenced backdrop. The visual narrative includes the Swiss Alps with a cuckoo clock, a Canadian maple leaf with a moose, the Sydney Opera House with a kangaroo, and the Statue of Liberty with an eagle, all artistically rendered into a Japanese garden scene with cherry blossoms and a torii gate. The contrasting colors are bold and vivid, with reds, whites, blues, and greens, creating a harmonious yet intriguing tableau that invites curiosity about how these diverse elements coexist and what they say about the countries' standings.
1SwitzerlandWestern Europe
2CanadaNorth America
5United StatesNorth America
7GermanyWestern/Central Europe
8New ZealandOceania
9United KingdomNorthern/Western Europe
10NetherlandsWestern Europe
12FranceWestern Europe
15ItalySouthern Europe
17SpainSouthern Europe
18BelgiumWestern Europe
19United Arab EmiratesMiddle East

1 Switzerland

Switzerland ranks as the world’s best country in 2024 thanks to its economic prosperity, political stability, and excellent infrastructure. The country scored highly across many attributes like income equality, environmental protection, and human rights. With a GDP per capita of over $83,000, Switzerland is one of the wealthiest nations.

2 Canada

Canada holds onto the #2 spot due to its political stability, economic freedom, and high quality of life. The country performs well for embracing immigrants, gender equality, and social justice. Canada’s expansive wilderness and cultural tolerance shape its international reputation.

3 Sweden

Sweden ranks 3rd overall, with high marks for human rights, income equality, environmental protection, and gender equality. The European nation is admired for progressive social policies, economic prosperity, and high standard of living. Sweden scores well for political stability and freedom.

4 Australia

Australia gains the 4th place thanks to its economic strength, political freedoms, and high quality of life. The country is perceived as family-friendly and happy with a good job market. Its reputation for scenic beauty, cultural attractions, and tourism boosts its score.

5 United States

The United States holds the 5th spot for its economic and military might. The country is globally influential in culture, entertainment, consumer brands, and technological innovation. But the U.S. fell from its previous higher rankings due to polarization and social unrest.

6 Japan

Japan ranks 6th, known for its advanced technology, entertainment, prestigious brands, and high standard of living. The country scores well for infrastructure, economic prosperity, and skilled workforce. Japan has blended its ancient traditions with Western elements.

7 Germany

Germany takes the 7th position owing to its major economic power in the EU, renowned universities, and leadership in manufacturing innovation. The Central European country is admired for stability, human rights protections, and environmental commitments.

8 New Zealand

New Zealand performs well at 8th place for safety, happiness, environmental protections, and human rights. The country is seen as scenic and friendly. Indigenous Maori culture and British heritage influence New Zealand.

9 United Kingdom

The UK holds onto a top 10 ranking at #9. The nation exerts major global influence in media, finance, technology and culture. But Brexit has raised economic uncertainty. The UK scores well for prestigious universities and global alliances.

10 Netherlands

Completing the top 10 is the Netherlands, praised for progressive social policies, press freedom, infrastructure, and economic stability. The country rates highly as entrepreneurial and innovative. Amsterdam is a cultural hub, and the nation’s water management expertise earns global respect.

11 Norway

Norway ranks 11th overall, with vast oil wealth fueling its prosperity. The Scandinavian nation scores very high for human development, happiness, environmental protection and trustworthy governance. Norway provides generous social welfare programs thanks to its natural resource revenue.

12 France

France holds the 12th spot due to its major global influence in media, culture, technology and economic power. The country is admired for its cuisine, fashion, history and geographic beauty. France scores well for income equality and political stability as a democratic republic.

13 Denmark

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Denmark performs strongly at 13th place for free speech, transparency, human rights and happiness. The Scandinavian country rates highly for gender equality, environment and political freedoms. Denmark provides strong social welfare policies and ranks as one of the least corrupt nations.

14 Finland

Finland claims the 14th position, praised for environment, income equality, modern technology and press freedoms. The Nordic country scores well for literacy, women’s rights, lack of corruption and trust in government and business. Geographic isolation shaped Finland’s distinct cultural identity.

15 Italy

Italy holds onto 15th place for its culinary excellence, geographic beauty, ancient history and world-famous art and architecture. But the country faces political instability and economic challenges in recent years. Italy still exerts influence through its luxury brands and remains a prime global tourist destination.

16 Singapore

Singapore ranks 16th, lauded for low corruption, advanced infrastructure, economic prosperity and influential global finance hub. The city-state provides a top-notch education system and skilled workforce. Rapid development drove its transformation into a wealthy, high-tech metropolis.

17 Spain

Spain grabs 17th position for its cultural contributions and geographic diversity as a crossroads civilization. The country scores well for happiness and arts, but faces high unemployment. Spain exerts global influence still through its cuisine, sports and language.

18 Belgium

Belgium claims the 18th spot for its central role in European politics, chocolate exports and for hosting the EU’s headquarters. The country rates well for press freedom, lack of corruption, health care and standard of living. Political divisions between Dutch, French and German speakers pose challenges.

19 United Arab Emirates

The UAE holds 19th place for rapid development of its oil wealth into global finance and transportation hubs. The Arab nation scores well for low taxes, safety and advanced infrastructure. But human rights concerns persist.

20 China

And China rounds out the top 20 due to its massive economic clout as the world’s largest exporter and second-largest economy. But political oppression, corruption, inequality and environmental crises weigh down its rating. Ancient history and cultural influence boost its score.

One Comment

  1. After the way Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, China and probably a couple I missed, treated their citizens during the manufactured “COVID” epidemic, they should NOT be on a list as a good country to live in. If you want authoritarian, big brother, police state actions look no farther than Canada, China, UK, USA and Australia. Heck, Australia, a country I used to admire for their freedoms, had barbed wire pseudo-prison camps for anyone suspected of having COVID. China? Even worse. At their best China is a police state. What they did during COVID went beyond what Orwell ever could think of. Sweden, Japan and a couple others handled it right.

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