Europe is a continent full of different cultures, languages and traditions. It is also a continent that has many beautiful and diverse countries. There are many factors to consider when looking for the best European countries to live in. The most important for some people may be the weather, for others it might be the work opportunities, or even the cost of living.
Many international organizations do annual research and analysis of different economic, social and demographic factors globally. We looked at them and examined the results, so we can propose a list of the best European countries to live in 2022. If you are looking for the best islands in Europe to travel to or live on we have a list of the top 3 European islands you can check.
The majority of the research comes from OECD databases. It is an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Their databases are famous for being superbly accurate, objective and very close to the actual reality. We also referred to United Nations databases and their Human Development reports. Some countries appear on our list according to the expat surveys.
Please kindly note that if you plant to travel to Europe in 2023 you will need new ETIAS visa waiver. If you plan to relocate to Europe in the near future please refer to this official website for immigration.
As per our research, the top 6 countries in Europe for living are the following:
How to find the best European countries to live in?
There are many factors that decide whether the country is good for living or not. But we chose only several criteria for the evaluation that seem the most important. Of course, cost of living, population density and career opportunities do matter. However, we decided to focus on the following elements:
- Overall quality of life
- Healthcare system
- Work-life balance
Best European countries to live in – Infographic
Sharing the knowledge
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Which are the best countries in Europe for living?
Norway is one of three Scandinavian nations with a population of less than 5 million. It is considered one of the most desirable countries to live in, with one of the lowest rates of crime in the world.
The United Nations Human Development Report has repeatedly ranked Norway as the best country to live and work in over the past few years. The average education and income levels, along with life expectancy, are the main factors that determine this annual ranking. However, it also considers other factors like human rights and cultural freedom. Norway’s literacy rate, education levels, and material wealth are all high. Norway also has one of the most robust welfare systems in the world. This ensures that those who are unable or unemployed can be supported to live dignified lives. Norway has one of the lowest rates of crime in the world.
Finland is small on a global level. Finland’s population is 0.07 percent of the global population. It also has a smaller area than the entire world. Even a small country can rise to the top of the list, and Finland has done this: Finland often ranks among the top countries in international comparisons of positive aspects.
The Nordic welfare state model is the foundation of Finnish society. It features comprehensive social security, wide-ranging public services, and a high level of taxation.
Individuals and their families can receive financial assistance through the system. The system offers services such as healthcare, sickness, parental, and family benefits, pension, and unemployment benefits. These benefits are available to anyone, regardless of their life circumstances.
This system provides high-quality universal healthcare services, free basic education and early childhood programs. It also maintains a well-functioning network of public transport and roads.
Germany, or Deutschland, as it is known, is somewhat smaller that the state of Montana. The country is compact, but it boasts many cultural, historical and natural attractions.
If you think of Germany’s historic and cultural sites, Schloss Neuschwanstein might be the first thing that comes to mind. Or the blush-colored ruins at the Heidelberg Castle. These are two of Germany’s most famous royal structures. There are many other castles in Germany. It is estimated that Germany may be home to around 25,000 people.
Germany offers much more than castles. 43 cultural sites are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Germany is a country with a high standard of living, besides its beautiful natural surroundings and cultural attractions. Many communities have walkable, car-free centers.
Germans are known for their respect for the environment. In fact, this can be seen in the government policies and in the preservation of forests and natural areas. The country has a clean water supply. Its rivers and lakes are in perfect condition. Water from the tap is safe, clean, and delicious.
This attitude to life or the quality of life in The Netherlands plays a significant role in attracting internationals as well as companies seeking a new home. The Netherlands is an attractive place to live and work. This is more than just anecdotes. According to the United Nations Happiness Report the Netherlands ranks sixth in the world and is also ranked within the top ten most happy countries in Europe by Eurostat. The Netherlands has higher than average scores from the OECD in many areas, including housing, employment, and subjective well-being.
The Netherlands encourages a healthy work-life balance. Employers and employees in the Netherlands agree that healthy work-life balance is key to employees being more productive and motivated. It shows: Dutch workers are more productive than other European countries, and part-time work is very popular in the Netherlands.
Denmark rose to the top of the list for women-friendly countries. The government’s efforts to promote gender equality through a flexible parental leave policy and an earnings-related daycare system are two of the main reasons.
It’s well-known that Northern Europe is ranked among the most happy countries in the world. According to reports, Danish women aged over 65 are the most happy in the European Union. Many people are not surprised that Scandinavian countries were also ranked among the Top Countries for Women.
The survey results of almost 10.000 women led to the title “Best Country for Women”. Other top five countries for women include Canada, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.
You can also consider microstates of Europe that offer easy ways to get citizenship, small population density and extremely favorable living conditions.
Portugal is one of the most desirable countries to live in. You could point to the rich and healthy food or the rich history. Perhaps it’s the cherished social cohesion which keeps streets safe. It may be because it is ranked among the best in global health statistics.
Since 2007, the Global Peace Index has been ranking the most secure countries around the globe. Portugal was fourth in the 2019 Global Peace Index, just behind New Zealand, Iceland, and Austria.
Portugal is known for its progressive and open-minded laws. Furthermore, the Guardian claims that Portugal’s drug decriminalization policy has made it a success story that should be a model for the rest of the world. The country legalized same-sex marriage in 2010. These legislative initiatives have led to greater social peace in different sections of society.
Portugal’s National Health Service is a network that includes over 1500 hospitals and health centers as well as 120,000 health professionals scattered across the country. This service is available to all residents of Portugal.
Portugal boasts a wonderful climate, with over 200 days of sunshine each year and an average temperature of 20 degrees. It is ideal for all seasons, including winter, spring, summer, and autumn. It’s a national story if there is snow or temperatures drop below zero in major cities.