After 5 years On The Road – What Is The Best Country To Live In? (2/2)

what is the best country to live in

Let’s wrap this up.

If you remember, in part one I began the difficult task to identify what is the best country to live in. Since it’s impossible to evaluate every single country on earth, I decided to focus only on countries where I have lived for at least a couple of months. And to provide some structure to this endeavor, I defined seven criteria to be used in my evaluation. The following three were addressed in my first article:

  1. Weather
  2. Safety
  3. Food

Now let’s address the final four criteria, plus my conclusions. The remaining four are as follows:

  1. Cost Of Living
  2. Health Care
  3. Family Friendly
  4. And a bonus one!

First and foremost, I am happy to say that quite a lot of people read part one, and I received some great feedback. So let’s hope for an equally successful part two.

So without further ado, welcome to part two in my quest for what is the best country to live in!

What Is The Best Country To Live In?

Cost Of Living

In my opinion, cost of living is one of the most important criterion. I have no desire paying for $40 dinners or $10 beers anymore. That’s outrageous and just doesn’t make any sense. Today you can easily earn an American salary working online, while living in a more cost effective country.

what is the best country to live in

Two countries that offers great value for your money are Vietnam and Ukraine. In both of them you can live very comfortable for as little as $1,000 to $1,500 per month, though I think $2,000 to $2,500 is more realistic, especially for older guys.

Another part of the world that has attractive prices is South America. In particular Cali, Colombia where I got a lot of bang for my bucks.

So to recap, here are the countries that matches my Cost of Living criterion (I put Vietnam first due to the slightly higher rent prices in Ukraine):

  • Vietnam
  • Ukraine
  • Colombia

Health Care

Your health is your most precious resource. You owe it to both yourself and your family to live a long and healthy life, and in the past I have written at length about preventive health care.

But sadly, life’s unpredictable and disaster could struck anytime. We could end up in a bad accident or become seriously ill. If that happens you don’t want to live in rural Africa where the only available health care professional is the local witch doctor.

what is the best country to live in

For health care, the western countries are superior. I have only good things to say about doctors and hospitals in Sweden, Germany and the United States where I have lived.

But I’ll briefly mention the health care systems in Thailand and Vietnam. If you have a good international health insurance (I pay $50/month for my) you can visit the best private hospitals, where the medical service is pretty much the same as in the west.

So to recap, here are the countries that matches my Health Care criterion:

  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • United States

Family Friendly

I do eventually plan to settle down somewhere, and I am open to the possibility of starting a family. Thus I included the family friendly criteria when evaluating what is the best country to live in.

what is the best country to live in

And when it comes to raising a family, Sweden is a clear winner. Here you’ll get 1,5 years of paid maternity (and paternity) leave, free schools and reasonable priced healthcare. It’s one of the best countries on the planet for raising a family.

United States is also a great country for raising a family. The country has the best schools, the best healthcare and gives your children their best chances for a successful life. The American dream is alive and well!

Finally let me briefly talk about a more traditional country like Vietnam. In Vietnam, most middle class families are able to afford a maid, that’ll reduce the domestic workloads for the parents. In addition, the in-laws often help out with baby sitting and other chores, giving the parents more time to handle their work or spend time on their own. Of course the number of good schools are not as plenty as in the west, but there are still many great international private schools to choose from.

So to recap, here are the countries that in my opinion are the most family friendly:

  • Sweden
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Bonus: Marriage Partner

Of course, before starting a family we need to find our so called “soul mate”. That’s not an easy task, and I am sure many of you had plenty of heartbreaks. Choosing the wrong partner could set you up for a life time of miseries. Both emotional and financial.

And today, the divorce rates in most western countries hoovers around 50%. Far worst is Belgium with an astonishing 70% divorce rate! (WTF is up with that? Can someone from Belgium comment on that?). Thus, after seeing our parents miseries, it’s not surprising to see that the marriage rate in the west is plummeting.

But whats’s the best country to find a partner, a partner that’ll stay for life, while also being a loyal, supporting, loving spouse? Well that’s not an easy question to answer, but I’ll give it a shot. And since I am a man, I can only address the wife part. (Sorry ladies!)

what is the best country to live in

First let’s talk about Ukraine. Ukraine has been blessed with some of the most beautiful girls on the planet. When you sit at one of the many picturesque cafes on central Khreshchatyk street, you’ll see model looking girls walking past every minute! In addition to their beauty, Ukrainian girls have good family values, while also being educated and loyal. The downside is that the divorce rate is quite high (42%), yet still lower than most countries in the west.

Next up is Vietnam. With Vietnam, it’s essential to know that most girls in their 20s experienced severe poverty in their childhood. Instead of playing with expensive toys, they had to worry about where their next meal would come from. Of course it’s different today and now people can afford the same kind of luxury items we have in the west. But people who experienced real poverty are far more appreciative for the smaller things in life, more humble and way less entitled compared to people in the west.

And that’s the type of girls you’ll find in Vietnam. In addition to the above, Vietnamese girls are beautiful, well educated, have good family values and loyal. In addition, the divorce rate in Vietnam is insanely low (4%).

Finally, we need to mention South America, in particular Colombia and Brazil where I have spent a lot of time. Colombian and Brazilian girls have the beauty to rival the Ukrainians, plus the family values to match the Vietnamese girls. In addition you’ll get a wife with a warm Latin personality and a marriage with a low divorce risk (Colombia: 9% and Brazil 21%)

So to recap, here are the countries that I believe you’ll have the best odds for finding a life partner (for guys only!):

  • Vietnam
  • Ukraine
  • Colombia
  • Brazil

Andy’s Verdict

Alright that’s a wrap, and as you can see some countries show up more often than others on my lists:

  • Vietnam
  • Ukraine
  • Sweden
  • United States

In my opinion, I say Vietnam is the best country to live in, closely followed by Ukraine. After those two I put Sweden and the United States, two countries where I lived for 10+ years and know very well.

But this is the bachelor in me speaking. If I someday start a family, I am certain my priorities will change, and I’ll for sure write an updated “what is the best country to live in” article.

In closing, I am also interested to know your favorite country to live in, and the reasons why. Please comment below or send me an e-mail.


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