The Best Countries to Live in 2023

Looking for inspiration to move abroad? We’ve collected the best countries to live in 2023, with locations that offer a high standard of living, quality public services, and high earnings.

We used the latest Human Development Index (HDI) report, where countries were assessed on factors including life expectancy, education and gross national income per capita. Each country receives a score between 1 and 0, with 1 indicating a very high level of development. We investigated the top five countries on the list to see what makes them the best places to live in 202.

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Switzerland looks to be the best country to live in 2023. It was the highest-ranking country on the latest HDI report, with a score of 0.962. Switzerland has remained at the top spot since 2015 and has seen an annual average growth of 0.19%.

Switzerland has the sixth-longest life expectancy in the world and ranks 5th for per capita GDP. It has an extremely high level of education, with excellent public schools and a lot of emphasis put on education. While healthcare is expensive, and many expats choose private health insurance to cover costs, it is also of a high standard.

Unemployment rates in Switzerland are low and wages are high, with Swiss workers being some of the highest-paid in the world. Taxes will range between the cantons across Switzerland, but generally, rates are low.


Norway is the second-best country to live in 2023, coming in second on the HDI report with a score of 0.961. Norway has kept the second spot since 2015 and has seen an annual growth of 0.19%.

Norway has the tenth-longest life expectancy in the world and ranks 6th for per capita GDP. Norway has a high standard of living, with a focus on the outdoor lifestyle. Cities are kept clean and there is a low crime rate. Public education and healthcare are both high quality.

Workers in Norway see many benefits. There is an expectation that family will be put first, so employees are able to tend to family needs even during working hours and there is generous parental leave for both parents. In Norway, the working day is usually around 7.5 hours and wages are seen to be decent.


Iceland is the third-best country to live in, ranking third on the HDI report with a score of 0.959. Like the other countries in the top three, Iceland has maintained its position since 2015. It has seen an average annual growth of 0.56%.

Iceland has the sixteenth-longest life expectancy in the world and ranks 15th for per capita GDP. It ranks first on the Global Peace Index and has extremely low crime rates. It operates a Nordic social welfare system that provides a high standard of public healthcare and education (up to a tertiary level).

Iceland has relatively low taxes and decent salaries. The country ranks third in the world by median wealth per adult. It has a low rate of unemployment and workers see a healthy work-life balance, with family seen as the priority.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the fourth best place to live, ranking fourth on the HDI report with a score of 0.952. Hong Kong has risen 3 places since 205 and has seen an average annual growth of 0.44%.

Hong Kong has the second-longest life expectancy in the world, topped only by Monaco. It ranks 11th for per capita GDP. Hong Kong has excellent healthcare and education, with a large selection of international schools that local children also attend.

Hong Kong is known for low taxes and high wages, and it is home to the third-highest number of billionaires in any city in the world. However, working culture in Hong Kong usually requires employees to put their work first and there are long working hours. Plus, there is a high level of income inequality in the city.


Australia is the fifth-best country to live, coming in fifth on the HDI report with a score of 0.951. Like Hong Kong, Australia has risen three places on the rankings since 2015. The country has seen an average annual growth of 0.27%.

Australia has the fifth-longest life expectancy in the world and ranks 20th for per capita GDP. It is seen to be one of the best countries for quality of life and offers a high standard of public education and healthcare.

Australia has a high-income economy with decent wages and a high minimum wage. There is a high cost of living, but most residents see it as a fair price to pay for the benefits of living in Australia.

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