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11 countries with the best quality of life in the world

Stockholm, Sweden.
Flickr/Chas B

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released its 2016 Better Life Index of countries with the best quality of life.

To do this, the OECD studied 34 countries across 11 parameters of well-being, including work-life balance, financial wealth, safety, education, and environmental quality. It uses data from the United Nations, National Statistics Offices, and the Gallup Organization.

Check out the countries that scored the highest across every category.

Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands.
Wikipedia Commons

9. The United States — Though it fell four spots from last year's Index, the US comes out on top in areas of housing, income, and wealth. The average household disposable income is $41,071 per year, the highest in OECD's study.

New York City commuters.
Flickr User Barn Images

5. Canada — This country ranks high in affordable housing. In the 2000s, Toronto and Vancouver's government rezoned all single family neighborhoods, so that homeowners could rent out extra rooms (thus increasing the amount of affordable rent available).

Wikipedia Commons
Markham suburbs in Toronto.

3. Denmark — The country jumped 7 spots from last year's index, and ranks high in paid vacation time, averaging 5 weeks off per year. On average, full-time workers report devoting 66% of their days to "personal care" (i.e. not working).

Slette Strand Beach in Denmark.
Stig Nygaard

2. Australia — Although Australia ranked as number one for 2013 and 2014 (then fourth in 2015), it is second in this year's index. The OECD found that people feel a strong sense of community in Australia: 95% of Australians believe they know someone they could rely on.

Sydney, Australia.
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Summary | 2 Annotations
11. Netherlands
2016/11/11 12:34
This country boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world
2016/11/11 12:34