By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA
Top 10 Best Countries to Live in the World
It is a matter of fact that no two countries are the same. While one country is known for its breath-taking views, another country is known for its people, a particular cuisine is a subject of pride for a nation and sometimes, the mere location of a nation makes it unique. Every country in this world has a thing or two to offer which probably you wouldn’t find elsewhere. In the end it is the USP of a country that makes it class apart. Although each and every country is distinct, a few of them emerge to be a little better, hence making it to the list of the ‘Top 10 Best Countries to live in the World’.
Kangaroos & Koalas! That’s the first thing that crops up into our heads when we talk of Australia. Officially known as Commonwealth of Australia, the country is the smallest continent and is known for liberal legislation, compulsory and free education, protected trade unionism, maternity allowances, sickness and old age pensions.
Aussies are friendly and pretty laid back, the world famous spots here are Ayers Rock, Bondi Beach, The Sydney Opera House, and The Sydney Harbor Bridge among many more places. A developed country, Oz has the 5th largest per capita income and ranks 2nd globally in the human development index. Having a Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy form of government, it has a population of 23,177,462. Australia is a market economy with high GDP per capita and low rate of poverty.
Either as a holiday destination or a place to live in, Australia is one place that you just cannot ignore when we talk about the best countries on earth.
Yet another small country but has so much to offer. The country whose capital city is Copenhagen is populated with just about 5.5 million Danes which have a Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy Government. The people of Denmark are avid nature lovers and unsurprisingly Denmark was the first country in the world to bring in the environmental law. Education is free and those aged 18 or above may apply for state educational support grants. Denmark has a universal healthcare system which runs with the help of taxes and not by social contributions, it is known worldwide for its generosity, it donates freely to nations who are in need.
Denmark, apart from its food and culture is known for its people. Other than being stalwarts, the great Danes are said to be the happiest people on earth, resulting in high life expectancy rate.
So if you want to be happy, you know where to head to!
Governed by a Unitary Parliamentary Representative Democracy under Constitutional government, Netherlands has two capitals one, The Hague, and the other, Amsterdam which is also the financial and business capital. Education in this country is compulsory between 4-16 years of age, while it is partially compulsory for 16-18 years of age. The nation has a maritime climate that brings in cool summers and mild winters.
The name of the country means ‘low country’, about half of the surface area is a little less than 1 metre above sea level. But that does not really take away the fact that Netherlands is one of the most beautiful countries on the face of earth.
Netherlands is a classic example for being a good economy; its trading and imports/exports; water management and for its tall people and their liberal nature. The world identifies Netherlands with flowers (especially tulips) ;windmills; canals; cheese(yum!) and not to forget ‘klompen’ (wooden shoes).
Known for its timber an iron ore exports, Sweden is Europe’s third largest country. The largest and the capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a temperate climate. The Government here is that of a Unitary Parliamentary Representative Democracy under Constitutional Monarchy. It is an export oriented mixed economy. Sweden is known for its high standard of living and low crime rate. Sweden finds its place in one of the top orders in life expectancy and potable drinking water.
A lot of importance is given to trade unions here that enforce workers’ rights and a good balance of work-live is prioritized, thus it is a common sight of seeing shops to pull down their shutters by 5 pm. If you’re an outdoor person who’s crazy about camping, hiking and picking berries, then Sweden is the place for you. The best part about this is that the Government has granted the right of public access to soak in the country’s nature.
Another interesting part, I bet you’re gonna love this, 480 days of paid parental leave is granted to parents. How cool is that?!
The country does not just have cold, dark wintry nights, but also has the same conditions prevailing during the day, that’s right! Sometimes there is no sunlight available to Swedes. By no sunlight, I mean zero hours of sunlight.
While people in Norway have sunlight at their disposal (irrespective of the time) during summers, I wonder how it is to go on for days without sunshine in Sweden.
Although a small country, Norway has a whole lot of things to offer. For one, it is ranked as one of the happiest countries to live in. The capital city of Norway is Oslo. The population of Norway is merely 5,063,709 which have a Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy type of Government. The nation has the credit of being the first independent country to introduce women’s suffrage. Also, based on its GDP, the country is counted among the richest countries of the world.
The Norwegian biodiversity boasts to be a real vast one. With just the insect species number running into thousands (16,000 species of insects alone are found in Norway) you can very well imagine the number of slightly higher evolved species. It’s not just that, Norway offers devastatingly gorgeous and startling views of landscapes and sceneries.
The Norwegian economy is a mixed one; also it is the world’s third largest producer of gas and the fifth largest producer of oil in the world. Thus contributing a 50% rise in the exports aspect.
We just cannot finish talking about Norway without discussing about Fjords. Fjords, probably the sole reason for travelers to visit because they offer a view which words just cannot describe. The people of Norway love being close to nature. A favorite sport among Norwegians is skiing, also a subject of national pride, skiing has been practiced on the Norwegian land for thousands of years.
The most common street food here is Waffles. Waffles-fermented dough that is cooked between two plates to give it a fancy shape is rolled in with sour cream and jam, giving it a dual taste.
One can’t praise Norway’s seafood enough, salmon; pickle herring and mackerel form a very important of the cuisine.
Ever thought of trying out something even wackier? Try Norway’s whale meat. People say it’s one to die for.
Last and definitely not the least, a unique thing about Norway is, during summer a few parts of Norway enjoy sunlight for 24 hours! Surprising, isn’t it?!
Chocolates! Cheese! Watches! Swiss Alps! Swiss Army pocket knife! These seem to be synonymous with Switzerland. Governed by a Directorial Federal Parliamentary Republic with elements of Direct Democracy, Switzerland has a population of 8,014,000. The GDP in 2012 was $363.421 billion and its currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF).
Switzerland’s cities Zurich and Geneva are ranked 2nd and 8th respectively in the list of cities that offer the highest quality of life in the world. The 2012 GDP of the country was $363.421 billion. The country takes preservation of the environment very seriously; it tirelessly works towards recycling and anti-littering regulations, also making it the one of the major recyclers of the world.
The climatic conditions of the country are quite pleasant, however at the northern tip; glacial conditions prevail, while the southern tip enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Due to these climatic conditions, sports like mountaineering, skiing and snowboarding seem to be tailor-made exclusively for Switzerland. The languages that are spoken here are German, French, Italian and Romansh. So if you’re really wishing to live in this country, then knowing one of the above languages is a must.
7. The United States of America
Undoubtedly one of the most multicultural nations, US has a bubbling population of around 315 million people and has the fourth largest in total area. Similar to its culture, the forests, plains, hills are very diverse and provide shelter to a distinct wildlife.
USA stands to be the most powerful nation in the world. In 2011 the country spent a whopping $700 billion which was amounting to 41% of global military spending. US has a capitalist mixed form of an economy combined with abundance of resources, state of art infrastructure(transport and energy included) and excellent production rate, no wonder the GDP was $15.685 trillion. The currency here is known to one and all i.e. the famous USD. Americans are a learned lot with their basic literacy rate being 99% approximately.
8. The United Kingdom
Also known as Britain or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is famous for a serpentine list of things like its long history; the needs-no-introduction royal family; magnificent castles and historic houses; fertile lands, lush country sides and green hills; educational instis like Oxford, Cambridge and London University; the prehistoric structure of Stonehenge; glitzy nightlife; Wimbledon; London City and oh yes, David Beckham!
The United Kingdom is a developed country and boasts of being the first industrialized nation. The British were known for holding many colonies in the world in the past, thanks to it, the traces of their culture and rule is still seen in the governing policies and legal systems of many countries which were previously British colonies. Their language, English is the most spoken language in the world.
Today, UK has a Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary system form of Government. Other than English, Scots, Irish, Cornish and Scottish Gaelic are spoken in UK. Needless to say the population here is pretty diverse, consisting of whites, South Asians, blacks, Chinese, mixed among others.
9. New Zealand
A Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy Government governs over the island country. Its capital is Wellington. Located on the southwestern side of the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is known for its diverse topography and pointed mountain peak, all thanks to the tectonic shift of land and volcanic eruptions. Maori, an ethnic group of and in New Zealand have been the residents of the Pacific Ocean from the past 1000 years!
Embodiments that represent New Zealand on the world platform are the Silver Fern, Kiwi (the flightless bird), the Maori tribe and of course their language. The island country’s trade scene is buzzing with activity; New Zealand holds a strong hold on the international trade in fish, wool, sheep & lamb, beef, and dairy products. Apparently, the sheep is too human ratio is 9:1, the human population of the island country is approximately 4 million (now do the math!). The tourism here is thriving rapidly, making the residents to use nature’s resources to the fullest potential by engaging in sailing and rowing, and other outdoors sports and activities to earn their livelihood.
In the Northern part of NZ the temperature varies from 14 degree Celsius to 25 degree Celsius, while the Southern part has a temperature ranging from 11 degree Celsius to 23 degree Celsius throughout the year. A nature lover’s paradise, the citizens of New Zealand are envied because they live on such a picturesque land.
10. The United Arab Emirates
Home to some of the most splendid sky scrapers, The United Arab Emirates commonly known as UAE or Emirates is world renowned for its enormous oil reserves. UAE consists of seven Emirates- Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Every emirate has an ‘Emir’ ruling over them and a President to look into the affairs of all the seven emirates. The center of trade and cultural activities is in Abu Dhabi which also happens to stand as the capital of UAE.
Basic necessities like education, healthcare and national infrastructure have been marvelously developed by investing in it wisely with the help of funds that arise from its oil exports. Not surprising, because the UAE ranks 7th in worlds largest oil reserves. It has also contributed immensely in putting the country in the 7th spot for earning the highest per capita income in the world. There is no doubt that the Emirates are an educated lot, the evidence to this is the 91% literacy rate of the country. Known across the world for its stringent laws, the country has a very low crime rate.
The largest city in UAE is Dubai. Dubai mall is the world’s largest mall and the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa stands in Dubai. A nation known for its glitzy malls, extravagant lifestyle, excellent infrastructure and great healthcare, UAE is undoubtedly a part of this list.