Published on January 29, 2019

Book your one-way ticket and say your goodbyes: U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Countries” index is here, and it’s predicting a life-changing move in your near future.

For the past three years, the publication has released an annual best-of-the-best list in which it compiles responses from more than 20,000 survey participants across the world and evaluates 80 countries against a variety of metrics (65 to be exact) to determine a country’s global performance. Education, adventure, entrepreneurship, and quality of life are just a few of the attributes each country is graded on.

While some countries made major leaps bounds since last year’s ranking (Japan, China, and Croatia, to name a few), some things never change. For the third consecutive year, Switzerland has stolen the top spot as the overall best country in the world, thanks to its transparent government practices, developed public health system, and embrace of sustainable living. 

If the Alps aren’t your cup of tea, here’s a full peek at the top 10 countries and what they do best.

10. France

Steeped in tradition, France’s rich history is just one reason the tourist-friendly destination scored high in cultural influence and heritage. From Paris to the countryside, there’s no shortage of things to do and castles to see for the traveler who wants to take a step back in time.

9. Norway

You already know how we feel about Scandinavia. The picturesque country took the top spot for citizenship this year and came in fourth for quality of life.

8. United States

Home sweet home. This was the fourth year in a row that the US was named as the most powerful country in the world. Blame it on Netflix binging or Chip and Jo: The US also scored high in cultural influence. 

7. Australia

Staying solid in its #7 spot for the second year in a row, Australia ranked high in categories like quality of life and comfortable retirement. It was also listed as one of the best countries for traveling alone. Solo trip, anyone?

6. Sweden

This Nordic country gave the world the joy that is Ikea, so are you surprised to see it sitting cozily in the top 10? Sweden took the number one spot for green living and is primed as one of the best countries for raising a family.

5. United Kingdom

Before you start thinking to yourself “Did Meghan Markle have something to do with this?” look a little closer at some of the country’s top universities and you’ll get why it won out in education.

4. Germany

Aside from being the most populous nation in the Europe Union, Germany is the second best country when it comes to entrepreneurship. Go for the Christmas markets and crisp beer. Stay for the chance to run your dream startup.

3. Canada

There’s a reason our friends to the north are always so nice. While Canada has fallen one ranking since 2018, the country came in first for best quality of life for the second year in a row.

2. Japan

Stealing the number one spot for entrepreneurship, Japan isn’t only for tourists and sushi lovers anymore, as it’s also for forward-thinkers too.

1. Switzerland

Pack your parka and don’t forget your skis: This famously neutral country has once again taken the top spot. Chalk it up to eco-friendly living, friendliness toward businesses, and Instagrammable Alpine villages.

See more stories like this: 

Here’s Where Everyone Will Be Moving in 2019

You Can Buy a Home in Sicily If You Have $1 (Yes, Really)

This Is the Most Affordable Country to Buy Your Dream Vacation Home

Discussion