Switzerland ranked as having third best quality of life in the world

Switzerland ranked as having third best quality of life in the world

A new ranking by cost of living database Numbeo has named Switzerland the third best country in the world for quality of life. The alpine nation was praised for its low pollution and high overall living conditions, but fell back slightly when it came to the cost of living.

Numbeo Quality of Life Index 2023

To create the Quality of Life Index, Numbeo analysed 84 countries from around the world. Each nation was evaluated through the following categories:

  • Purchasing power 
  • Pollution levels 
  • How house prices compare to salaries
  • Cost of living
  • Safety levels 
  • The healthcare system 
  • Traffic levels and the average commute length 
  • Climate / weather

The score for each of the categories was calculated by looking at a number of different data sets and international indexes covering topics like the cost of living, pollution and purchasing power. A weighted average combining each of these categories was then used to calculate a country's overall place in the ranking.

The Netherlands usurps Switzerland to top the ranking

In 2023, it was the Netherlands which came out on top as having the best quality of life in the world, usurping Switzerland to claim first place. European nations dominated the top of the ranking, with eight of the top 10 positions going to countries on the continent or in the European Union.

Numbeo praised the Netherlands for its fast commuting time, purchasing power and healthcare system, although dropped some points when it came to scoring the infamously wet Dutch weather. Dutch cities also came out on top in Numbeo’s city ranking, with The Hague and Eindhoven placing in the top two.

Switzerland comes third in quality of life ranking

On the national ranking, just behind Denmark was Switzerland in third. The alpine nation’s place on the podium was secured by its strong purchasing power, low pollution and good safety scores. In fact, the country placed in the top 10 in purchasing power (fourth), safety (seventh), and pollution (sixth) categories.

However, it was the usual suspects that kept Switzerland’s score in check, namely the high cost of living and the ratio of salaries to how much it costs to buy a house. Also, the fact that the Swiss weather is so variable between the seasons didn’t help the country’s case.

Nevertheless, Swiss cities also did well on the city ranking, with Zurich and Geneva coming in fifth and 12th place respectively. Zurich took the higher position thanks to excellent scores on the safety and pollution indexes, although both saw their scores suffer due to placing high in the cost of living index.

10 best countries in the world for quality of life

In all, according to the ranking, the 10 countries which offer the best quality of life in 2023 are:

  1. The Netherlands 
  2. Denmark
  3. Switzerland
  4. Luxembourg
  5. Finland
  6. Iceland
  7. Austria
  8. Oman
  9. Australia
  10. Norway

For the full ranking, visit Numbeo’s website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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