Which European Countries Have the Highest Standard of Living?

Published on 26. December 2017
Which European Countries Have the Highest Standard of Living?

Europe is often characterized as a continent with a high number of countries that offer an above-average standard of living. It should be kept in mind that living conditions are not equal in all of the countries of the old continent. Nevertheless, globally, Europe is becoming a better and better place to live.

Each year, various lists of top European countries with the best living conditions are made. Ranking is based on a number of factors, such as the lifetime of the population, the education, the health, the gender equality and the financial well-being. Besides the average salary, the criteria of general cost of living is also taken into account. What influences the position of countries on the list the most is the purchasing power of the population, that is to say, the things they can afford in order to improve their life quality.

If we take a look at the rank of countries on such lists in the past, it is noticeable that at the very top there are always a several of them that are repeating.

Where in Europe do people live best?

According to the statistics, it is best to live in the north of Europe, in the Scandinavian countries.

If you are looking for a better place to live, and you don’t mind the winter, the snow, the polar maturity and the low temperatures, this list will be of great use to you.

Iceland - the land of ice and fire, the waterfalls, the elves and the people with a long lifespan. On average, Icelanders live 82.7 years. The Iceland is in a great expansion, they are looking for workforce in all the sectors, from waiters to developers, so that here one can easily find employment. The general literacy is 100%, and the unemployment rate is only 0.5%.

The Netherlands - a low unemployment, an excellent social protection and tax breaks up to 30% keep this country always at the top of the European countries with the best life standard. A research has shown that the workers here are particularly happy, satisfied and motivated.

Germany - the cost of living is only 1.8 higher than the EU average, while at the same time this country has one of the highest GDP in the Union, which is a common measure of the welfare of the nation. Since October 2014, studying at all the universities in Germany is free both for its residents and for the international students, while more than 96% of population have secondary education.

Luxembourg is a paradise for migrants since here they get the same treatment as the other citizens. There are 30% of foreigners living in this country of fast-growing economy. The total GDP is $ 14 billion, which makes Luxembourg one of the richest countries in the world. According to the latest official data, the minimum wage in Luxembourg is fabulous € 2,000.

Finland - Nokia is the first association for this Nordic country for most of the people. A high cost of living still leaves enough available revenue due to exceptionally high net earnings.

Sweden - the land of brave Vikings, Sweden enjoys the fruits of peace because it has not participated in the wars for the last 200 years. It is at the top of economic competitiveness in the world. Due to its tolerant politics, the country has recently faced a large wave of newcomers. High average wages (around € 33,000 per year), low tax rates and good health and social programs make it a country worth living in.

Norway - the fjords, the snow, the polar light, but also a strong economy and a low crime rate, make Norway a promised land for many people. It is one of the safest countries in the world, the conditions of work are favorable and humane, and the average wages are extremely high. For years it has been at the top of the highest standards of living in the world.

Denmark - this is the smallest Nordic country and the most densely populated North European country in which bicycles are the dominant means of transport. It is also known as one of the happiest places to live in the world. The Danes may not have such a high average salary, but the cost of living is low so that they can easily afford to live as they please. This country is a paradise for young people looking for work. Here, only 10% of the young population is not employed. The flexibility of the workforce, the social security of citizens and the proactive employment policy are ideally combined.

Switzerland - the land of clocks, the snow peaks, the cheese and the chocolate, but also the land of peace, tolerance, high wages, excellent health and social programs. Switzerland is often used as a synonym for a high standard of living. For example, an average worker in Switzerland can afford twice as much as a worker in New York can.


In the end, you might also be interested in whether the status on the list will change in the incoming period. Experts predict that the order on the list will remain similar for the next few decades. In the next 30 years, those will continue to be the best places to live in Europe.