18 Countries That Are Better to Live in Than the US

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By Darryl Henderson

The U.S. is a great country to live in, steeped in history and culture, but many other countries around the world offer an even better standard of living. For example, here are 18 countries that are better places to live than the U.S.


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Germany is known for its robust economy, strong job market, and social benefits. It offers a comprehensive public transportation system and efficient infrastructure, with high standards of education and vocational training programs that give residents great career opportunities. Life is pretty efficient over there!


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Canada boasts an exceptionally high quality of life with great education and low crime rates.

According to the BBC, Canada’s progressive universal healthcare system provides free access to medical services, which the U.S. could only dream of! The country also has a strong emphasis on multiculturalism and diversity, which is great to see.


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Norway has exceptional healthcare and education systems funded by the government, a high standard of living with low crime rates, and strong social security. It’s also renowned for its stunning natural beauty and strong focus on environmental sustainability, which is why many Americans choose to migrate there.


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Switzerland is a better country to live in than the U.S., boasting a high standard of living thanks to its excellent healthcare and education, political stability, strong economy, and low unemployment rates. Residents also enjoy unbelievably picturesque landscapes, a high focus on environmental conservation, and very low crime rates.


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The Guardian reports that Finland’s education system has topped Europe’s rankings for decades. Extensive social welfare programs and a high quality of life mean that the residents are some of the happiest in the world. The beautiful natural environment and many outdoor activities on offer further boost the happiest. It’s pretty dark, though!


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The Netherlands boasts a high quality of life with excellent healthcare and social services, increasingly progressive policies on social issues, and strong human rights. It also provides extensive cycling infrastructure and focuses heavily on sustainability, which the residents love!


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Denmark’s strong social security system and quality of life show itself in the happiness of its residents. It has a clear focus on work-life balance and gender equality, as well as maintaining a clean environment and supporting overall well-being. It’s not too overpopulated, either!


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As The Lancet points out, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. This is partially due to its excellent diet, fantastic healthcare, low crime rates, and love for walking. Residents also enjoy a rich cultural heritage, social communities, and advanced technology, making it a top pick for residents, tourists, and migrants alike.


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The stunning natural beauty and environmental sustainability aren’t the only things that make Iceland stand out as one of the top countries to live in. It also has low crime rates, strong social support, and progressive policies, particularly regarding gender equality. The fear of a volcanic eruption can put some people off, though!


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Singapore benefits from a world-class healthcare system and a high standard of living, making residents some of the happiest out there. With low crime rates, efficient public services, and a multicultural society with excellent education opportunities, it is easily among the best countries to live in.


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Austria’s excellent healthcare and education systems, strong social security system, and low unemployment rates mean it has a very high quality of life. It also benefits from a range of cultural events and a vibrant arts scene loved by tourists and locals alike, so why not make a visit someday?


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The Guardian says Australia has experienced a surge in migration, and it’s not hard to see why. The country provides a high quality of life with great healthcare and education systems, as well as a favorable climate with beautiful beaches and plenty of outdoor activities. Don’t go there if you hate creepy crawlies, though!


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Famous for its friendly and welcoming communities, incredibly strong economy, and numerous job opportunities, Ireland is a seriously cool country. We Americans love it for its roots in our country, along with its beautiful countryside, culture, and high-quality healthcare and education systems. If you’ve not visited, you’re missing out!


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There are many things that make Belgium a top pick for alternatives to living in the U.S. It’s safe, secure, and clean, boasting a multilingual society with a strong focus on sustainability. Its cultural heritage and warm communities make it a favorable place to live if you can afford it!


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World-renowned for its cuisine and cultural history, France is a fantastic place to live. Its high quality of life is due to its exceptional healthcare and education systems, decent welfare system, and investment in public services. France enjoys some serious people power, too—it doesn’t let its government push it around!


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Sunny Spain boasts excellent year-round weather, a laid-back lifestyle, and scenic landscapes. What’s not to like about that? Its residents commend its quality of life and vibrant and welcoming communities. Their only real complaint is the influx of tourists visiting the country!


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U.S. News ranks Sweden as the best country for quality of life. This is partially because Sweden spends a significant amount of money on public services and offers an extensive welfare system with generous parental leave and childcare support. It also has high environmental standards and an excellent work-life balance!

New Zealand

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Finally, the quality of life in New Zealand is second to none, with a focus on outdoor activities and getting out in nature. The impressive public healthcare system and good work-life balance mean that many people are moving to New Zealand and becoming involved in its friendly communities with low crime rates.

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