The best countries to live in to realise your tech-filled dreams
Picking the best country in the world to live in is no easy task. In fact, there’s no real definitive answer either as it depends on your own values and needs, of course.
However, that doesn’t stop researchers and journalists from attempting to rank the best places in the world via so-called “liveability” and quality of life indexes. Based on such maths, Vienna in Austria is the best place to live, according to the Economist and the Mercer Quality of Life survey.
Not sold on Austria? Here are the best countries in the world for key factors from healthcare to education. If you can move to any of these locations to get yourself a better life, consider yourself lucky.
The best countries to live in
Finland: The best country for education
What is Finland doing that’s so different? Finnish schools are famous for no homework, focusing on play, for keeping students together despite different academic abilities, and for respecting teachers, as well as using modern technology to support their work. Plus, it’s light on testing; there’s only one standardised exam, though it’s made up of multiple parts.
The Finnish Matriculation Examination tests “general academic maturity”, and helps decide if a student is ready for higher education. Fewer exams, more fun, and reverence and support for teachers — that’s what makes a good education system, it would seem.
Of course, that’s for school children. What about for higher education? While the US and UK dominate lists for the best universities in the world — with MIT, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard and Cambridge among the top more often than not — a ranking by researchers Universitas 21 has named a different nation as the best for higher education: Finland, again. That’s based on spending on education versus GDP, enrolment compared to unemployment, and number of research articles produced, among other factors. The UK was ranked second.
Hong Kong: The best country for transport
The best “country” for getting around is Hong Kong. That’s according to a World Economic Forum report that ranked the small nation as the best for “ground and port transport”, as well as the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Mobility Index.
The popularity of Hong Kong’s transit is largely down to its well-used Mass Transit Railway and mix of trams, light rail, and buses. Plus, tickets are relatively cheap. That said, Singapore came second in the WEF’s ranking, suggesting the high scores are down to the urban nature of the city-states. The third-ranked country was the Netherlands, so if you’re looking for a country with rural areas that still manages to be well connected, go Dutch.
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Singapore: The best country for broadband
Who needs transport, healthcare and education when you have whizzy broadband? If you want the fastest internet connection, head to Singapore, according to Cable.co.uk research. There, the average download speed is a whopping 60.39Mbps, three times the UK’s 18.57Mb/sec and a solid leap above second-ranked Sweden’s 46Mb/sec.
When it comes to broadband speeds, methodology is important: ISPreview notes that the UK’s average speed according to that ranking is well below Ofcom’s official figure of 46Mbps — but that would still leave Singapore well ahead.
Germany: The best country for startups
Setting up your own tech company? Where’s best depends on a host of factors, from availability of VC funding, visas for yourself and staff, how long it takes to register a company, and local tech community. Silicon Valley and London are both home to plenty of tech giants and startups, but are they the best for new companies?
One report suggests the best country for entrepreneurs isn’t the US or the UK, but Germany. It already has a burgeoning startup scene, but that’s boosted by solid spending on R&D, a well-established creative industry, more reasonable housing prices, and support from the government for worker retraining.
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Australia: The best country for healthcare (after the UK)
The debate over how to fund healthcare often leads to debates over which system is the best, but unlike rankings over “liveability”, there’s real methodology happening here, largely because it’s actually possible to measure health. The Commonwealth Fund, for example, considers 11 major countries on everything from healthcare outcomes to access, even taking into account administrative efficiency. And which country does it place at the top of the rankings? The UK. Consider that a shout-out to the NHS.
However, while our home country ranked well for care process, access, efficiency, and equity, it was near the bottom for healthcare outcomes — a rather important measure. The country with the best healthcare outcomes was Australia, which ranked second overall after the UK, so if you’re looking for a new nation with solid healthcare, it’s likely a safe choice. Which was the lowest of the 11? The US.
While it’s easy to criticise the American healthcare system — after all, it’s expensive, leaves poorer people behind, and has led to crowdfunding sites being used to fund care — the US remains one of the centres of tech development for health, no surprise given Silicon Valley’s success. Indeed, the most technologically advanced hospital in the world is considered to be El Camino, which is based in Mountain View, California — home to Google’s headquarters.