The planet Earth is a host to many beautiful and enchanting places. However, when looking for a place where you want to see your dreams unraveling, there are many factors to consider. Usually, GDP is a common variable taken into account in such queries but not in this analysis. Our list of the top 10 best countries to live in 2013 is unique because we have deliberately not considered the Gross Domestic Product. The reason being that the GDP aggregates all the household incomes into an average; therefore, it is not a good indicator of income per household. For example, if nine out of ten households in a country have very poor household income but one out of ten has an outstanding income, the GDP might still show a decent figure. The factors considered while compiling this list are places which are best to work in, those with the most competitive economies, the safest countries, and the ones with good life expectancy (indicative of a country’s healthcare system) based on the latest statistics. Most of the weight is given to countries considered to be best for working based on the allowance of vacation time, paternal leave, and maintenance of best possible work/leisure balance.
France managed to gain a place in this list because it is one of the top ten best countries to work in the world. This is because France out ranks all the other countries in terms of the numbers of paid vacations it gives to its employees (40 days). Also, its workers work 200 hours less a year compared to organizations in other countries so it allows one to maintain a good work/leisure balance. However, it ranks comparatively poor when it comes to safety (with a safety index of 48.87) and economic competitiveness where it ranks 21st due to which it is ranked last in our list. In terms of life expectancy, France has the 14th position in the world with a decent average age of 81.46.
9. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is not in the list of the top ten best countries to work in due to which it is far down in our list. However, it is the 9th most economically competitive country and the 3rd safest country in the world with a safety index of 83.43. Hong Kong has an efficient banking system and top rated infrastructure including transport, telephone, and electricity systems. In addition, it is ranked 8th in the list of countries with high life expectancy where 82.12 is the average age. For this reason, Hong Kong has managed to make its place in this list of top ten best countries to live in 2013.
Again, Japan is not in the list of top ten best countries to work in because of which it is ranked low in this list. Nevertheless, Japan is ranked at the very top of the list of the safest countries in the world with a safety index of 86.89. Also, it is a developed country with state funded health care system due to which it is ranked third amongst the countries with high life expectancy with an average age of 83.91. In addition, Japan outranks many countries in terms of business and innovation, giving it the tenth place amongst the top ten economically competitive countries.
Although Singapore is not ranked amongst the top ten best places to work in but it has an outstanding ranking amongst the most economically competitive countries in the world. Ranked as 2nd most completive country in the world, Singapore’s private and public sectors have been rated as the best in the world for the fifth consecutive time. It has state of the art infrastructure, good education system, and it ranked first in terms of having the most efficient labor markets. Singapore has also managed to secure 10th position in the world’s safest places with a safety index of 80.02. In addition, it ranks 4th in the list of top ten countries regarding highest life expectancy with the average age of 83.75.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEDC) has ranked Denmark as 1st in providing the best work/leisure balance to its employees. With paid maternity leave and 34 days of paid vacation, Denmark almost sounds like a work heaven. In terms of economic competitiveness, it is ranked 12th in the world. It is considered not only to have one of the most efficient labor markets but also flexible ones. With transparent institutional frameworks and strong education system, Denmark seems like an excellent choice to live in 2013. However, in terms of safety and life expectancy its rankings can be considered only satisfactory (69.26 safety index and 78.78 average age).
Norway is one of the top ten best countries to work in with 47 weeks of parental leave (9 weeks for the mother, 12 weeks for the father and the rest of the weeks can be shared between both the parents) at 100% pay. Also, it offers 35 days of paid vacations. Norway is ranked 15th amongst the most competitive countries of the world. Its academic sector and business sector have a good relationship. There is a fair amount of accountability which maintains its institutional integrity, and it keenly upgrades its infrastructure according to new technology. Norway has a safety index of 74.39 and a decent average age of 80.32.
Germany is one of the top ten best countries to work in the world where despite working for only 27.8 hours a week, Germans enjoy a high standard of living and a strong economy. It is also one of the top ten most economically competitive countries (6th position). Germany has a very sophisticated business system where innovation is encouraged. Also, it has an excellent infrastructure and transport system. It has a safety index of 76.14 and an average life expectancy of 80.19.
Sweden is not only one of the top ten best countries to work in but it is also ranked 4th in the list of World’s most economically competitive countries. Sweden’s generosity towards its employees is acknowledged worldwide where 16 months of parental leave is offered along with 36 days of paid vacation. Both the private and public sectors of Sweden offer best quality of institutions which ensure transparency and efficiency. Also, Sweden provides an environment suitable for innovative growth. It has a security index of 68.19 and good life expectancy of 81.18 average years.
Finland, like France, is also one of the World leaders in providing paid vacations of 40 days. Also, Finnish work an average of 50 hours a week; a figure which points towards a healthy work/leisure balance. Finland also holds an outstanding position (3rd) in the world’s most economically competitive countries. Leading in education and health sectors, Finland also shows most regards for ethics and transparency in both, the public and private working sectors. It has a safety index of 67.31 and average age of 79.41.
Netherlands has secured 1st rank in our list because it embodies almost the perfect balance of all the variables considered in this analysis. Where Americans are the most over-worked people, people of Netherlands work the least number of days per year in the world and yet enjoy a high standard of living. In addition, they are given 28 days of paid vacation and 16 weeks of maternity leave with 100% salary. For these reasons, Netherlands is one of the top ten best countries to work in the world. This working paradise is also ranked 5th amongst the world’s most economically competitive countries. It continues to improve its ranks with its efficient business, excellent education and transport systems. It has a safety index of 62.47 and a good life expectancy of 80.91 average years.