These countries have officially been named the best in the world

And half of them are located in Europe

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Photograph: Shutterstock

Many countries have something that they claim they’re the best at. France arguably makes the best pastries, India is known for its talent in cricket, the US boasts world-class universities, and Brazil is considered the most biodiverse country. But which country is simply the best overall? 

A new ranking of the world’s Best Countries seeks to answer that question. It’s the result of a collaborative project between the US News and World Report, marketing company WPP and a business school from the University of Pennsylvania. The project conducted a comprehensive analysis of more than 70 factors for 87 countries, using information from a survey of more than 17,000 people. 

Categories include heritage such as food and cultural attractions, quality of life with factors such as the job market, income equality and education system, and social purpose, like the prevalence of human rights and commitment to climate goals. 

So, which country is considered the best in the world? It’s Switzerland – the land of glorious mountains, chocolate, and cheese. It ranked at the top largely thanks to its low levels of unemployment, corruption, and high levels of cultural influence (a disproportionately high number of Nobel Prize winners are Swiss). You can read more about why it’s ranked so well here

Ranking in second place is Canada, which is described by the report as a high-tech industrial society, and boasts a good job market, education and healthcare system, as well as economic and political stability. 

In third, it’s Sweden, the country which allegedly has the most generous people – roughly one percent of their gross national product is put towards humanitarian aid annually. It’s also one of the happiest countries in the world, and also one of the most family-friendly, according to the study. 

Australia and the United States round out the top five, and the UK ranked ninth, which you can read more about here. In fact, half of the top ten spots are occupied by European countries — unsurprisingly, it's evidence that the continent is quite a nice place to live. 

Here is the full list of the top ten best countries in the world.

  1. Switzerland
  2. Canada
  3. Sweden
  4. Australia
  5. United States
  6. Japan
  7. Germany
  8. New Zealand
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Netherlands

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