Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

The 21 Best Countries to Live In

Health + Wellness
The 21 Best Countries to Live In

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published its third "How's Life?" survey last week. The survey analyzes standards of living in 36 of the richest countries in the world across 11 areas—housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.

"There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics," says the OECD Better Life Index. Instead of focusing entirely on "material well-being," the index also looks at "the broader quality of people's lives (such as their health, education, work-life balance, environment, social connections, civic engagement, subjective well-being and safety)."

Here are the top 21 countries ranked with the indicators weighted equally:

The OECD has a great interactive tool that let's you rate the factors according to their importance to you. So, if for instance, you want to see how countries rank based on the quality of their environment, then your ranking would look like this:

As you can see, Sweden is a clear leader when it comes to a pristine environment. And it's likely to only improve there, as the Swedish government recently announced it wants to become one of the first fossil fuel-free nations.

If you want to weight both health and environment to the maximum extent, your ranking would look like this:

To develop your own personal ranking, check out the index here.

The health impacts of air pollution have never been more clear. The OECD data reveals that 3.5 million people are killed every year from outdoor air pollution—that's way higher than previous estimates. In OECD countries, 50 percent of air pollution is caused by road transport with diesel vehicles being the biggest culprit. Looking at you, Volkswagen.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Larry David as Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live: ‘We Need a Revolution’

Bill McKibben Gets Arrested Exposing Exxon’s ‘Unparalleled Evil’

Colbert: I Woke Up Yesterday Morning and My Tesla Could Drive Itself

Ocean Tides to Power More Than 150,000 Homes

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.

Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.

The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Marsh Creek in north-central California is the site of restoration project that will increase residents' access to their river. Amy Merrill

By Katy Neusteter

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less
A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less
President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 30, 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Jon Queally

Noted author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben was among the first to celebrate word that the president of the European Investment Bank on Wednesday openly declared, "To put it mildly, gas is over" — an admission that squares with what climate experts and economists have been saying for years if not decades.

Read More Show Less