Where’s the Best Quality of Life in 2012?

Numbeo has just released its annual Quality of Life information for 2012. Factors that comprise overall “quality of life” rankings include purchasing power (including rent), ratio of house prices to incomes, safety, health, pollution, traffic and consumer price index.

On a country-by-country basis, here’s the Top Ten lineup. The number in parenthesis represents the quality of life score. You can see the entire list of 51 countries here.

  1. Switzerland (194.11)
  2. Germany (184.42)
  3. Norway (183.43)
  4. United Arab Emirates (177.07)
  5. New Zealand (174.28)
  6. Sweden (171.72)
  7. Canada (164.99)
  8. Denmark (163.12)
  9. Australia (162.03)
  10. Austria (159.89)

The United States is #12 (140.62).

However, we don’t live in an entire country, we live in just a small piece of it. When broken down into best quality of life cities, the list looks a bit different.

  1. Berlin, Germany (215.25)
  2. Zurich, Switzerland (213.18)
  3. Edmonton, Canada (204.86)
  4. Perth, Australia (196)
  5. Calgary, Canada (190.78)
  6. Trondheim, Norway (187.70)
  7. Stockholm, Sweden (166.05)
  8. Sydney, Australia (165.67)
  9. Montreal, Canada (164.99)
  10. Dubai, UAE (161.35)

The first US city on the list is #17, San Francisco (147.17).
Obviously, your mileage may vary. If your dream life is in a tropical clime, this list won’t do much for you.


  1. Amii Logan says:

    I noticed this similar article, which shows most popular countries based on cost of living – really interesting!


    • Actually, Costa Rica is becoming less and less an “affordable” retirement destination. I know quite a few expats who are moving or have moved from Costa Rica to Panama. Additionally, Panama’s infrastructure (roads, electric, internet, etc.) is much better and the country is putting a lot of money into improvements where Costa Rica is not. 🙂

Speak Your Mind


17 + 13 =


Please type the text above: