The Netherlands ranked as having the best quality of life in the world

The Netherlands ranked as having the best quality of life in the world

A recent quality of life ranking published by international cost of living database Numbeo has placed the Netherlands in the number one spot, beating out tough competition from the likes of Denmark and Switzerland

Numbeo Quality of Life Index 2023

Numbeo’s annual ranking offers “an estimation of overall quality of life” across the 84 countries included in the study. The Quality of Life index takes a number of different factors into account, including: 

  • 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

A country’s performance across each of these eight areas is then used to determine an overall score.

European countries dominate the top of this year’s ranking, claiming eight out of the top 10 positions. While the Netherlands can celebrate claiming the number one position, Denmark and Switzerland are hot on its heels and round out the top three. Meanwhile, occupying the bottom positions are Venezuela, Bangladesh, and Nigeria.

The Netherlands claims top spot in international quality of life ranking

While the Netherlands generally does tend to do quite well when it comes to these kinds of rankings, it’s rare that the country manages to beat out its Scandinavian neighbours to claim the top spot. But this year, the Netherlands managed to rise through the ranks, swapping its third-place position in 2022 for the top spot in 2023. 

The Netherlands achieved an overall score of 196,7, performing particularly well when it came to average commute times (7th place), purchasing power (8th place), and the healthcare system (10th place). In fact, the Netherlands managed to place in the top 30 across all factors - but its poorest score was definitely (and perhaps unsurprisingly) for its weather (30th place).

Interestingly, Dutch cities also performed well in Numbeo's separate city ranking, with The Hague and Eindhoven claiming the top two spots, and Rotterdam managing to secure a place in the top 10. Cities included in the study were assessed across the same eight areas, and both The Hague and Eindhoven managed to achieve scores above the national average in almost all categories.

Top 10 countries offering the best quality of life 

According to the ranking, the 10 countries around the world offering the highest quality of life 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.

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Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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Leave a comment

johndoe4 13:09 | 20 February 2023

Very interesting that these countries always align quite well with top suicidal countries too.

AndyMazzocchi2 09:17 | 21 February 2023

Are they joking...? The Netherlands has a good health system? And a good weather?? Really??

TP6706943 18:49 | 26 February 2023

Also highest cancer rates. Also unaffordable housing market. Also pollution is high. Not to mention the average basic Dutch health insurance premium in 2023 is about 135 euro per month and the care is below average. Quality of life is clearly sup bar as to what it should be, climate is unfavorable most time of the year. Supermarket foods are depressing. No existing dutch cuisine beside fast food. Landscape is flat and grey, only interesting cities are the big ones, but they are overcrowded by tourists and population density. Not good enough public transport, busy, lots of people have jobs in other cities and students commute, lots of strikes and travel uncertainties, safety is debatable. Lots of bad neighborhoods across the country and sketchy people. Educational system is entirely different from other countries, universities are very expensive, compared to other countries and their government that also offer free education, which is not the case in NL. Salary is barely enough. Not sure if middle class agrees to this article, which should be 80 percent of NL.