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This Nordic Country's Social Progress Ranks it As the World's Best Place To Live

Picture of Aliki Seferou
Updated: 22 June 2017
It’s widely known that Denmark has earned the title of the ‘happiest country’ in the world three times in the past by the UN World Happiness Report. A new report comes now to show once more that Scandinavians are doing something right and their example should be followed by more countries around the globe.

What The Report Found

This time, Denmark ranked first as the best place in the world to live in among the 128 countries that were examined in the Social Progress Index (SPI) Report 2017. The report is based on 50 indicators that are listed in three categories: ‘Basic Human Needs’, ‘Foundations of Wellbeing’, and ‘Opportunity’. According to the non-profit organisation Social Progress Imperative, Denmark came fifth and eighth in the last two categories respectively while it ranked first in the ‘Basic Human Needs’ category.

Nørlev strand, Denmark
Nørlev strand, Denmark | © magnetismus/Flickr

Where Denmark Stood Out

The factors examined under the ‘Basic Human Needs’ category—in which Denmark ranked 96.79 out of 100—are Shelter, Access to Medication, Nutrition, Personal Safety, Water, and Sanitation. ‘Foundations of Wellbeing’ (90.86) include Access to Basic Knowledge, Access to Information and Communications, Health and Wellness and Environmental Quality while finally, the category ‘Opportunity’ (84.06) examines Personal Rights, Personal Freedom and Choice, Tolerance, and Inclusion as well as Access to Advanced Education.

The areas in which the country didn’t score very high include Gender Parity in Secondary Enrollment, Life Expectancy at 60, Freedom of Religion, Religious Tolerance, and the number of Globally-Ranked Universities.

Nyhavn canal as seen from Kongens Nytorv square, Copenhagen, Denmark, Northern Europe
Nyhavn canal as seen from Kongens Nytorv square, Copenhagen, Denmark, Northern Europe | ©Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons

Where Did Other Countries Rank?

In general, Europe is the most prosperous continent according to the report. While Scandinavian countries occupy the top of the list, Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand round out the first 10 positions.

Eight of the bottom countries are in Africa—with Central African Republic being the worst of all 128—while the other two are Yemen and Afghanistan in Middle East.