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Matt Rosenberg

The World's "Best" Countries

By August 19, 2010

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Newsweek has ranked 100 countries of the world (out of 195) and has determined that Finland is the world's "best" country. I'm not fond of the title but they ranked countries on education, health, quality of life, economic dynamism, and political environment. Thus, according to Newsweek, the ten best countries in the world are...

1. Finland
2. Sweden
3. Switzerland
4. Australia
5. Luxembourg
6. Norway
7. Canada
8. Netherlands
9. Japan
10. Denmark

The United States is ranked 11th and the United Kingdom is 14th.

Comments

August 20, 2010 at 3:05 am
(1) Don Hirschberg says:

A quick look at the top ten I notice:

No multiculturalism. These are countries with largely homogeneous people.

No skin color.

Nine out of ten can be called Christian countries

Eight out of ten speak largely Germanic languages.

No representation from mainland Asia, North or South America, or from Africa.

February 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm
(2) Dickens says:

Australia and Switzerland tie at the second most multicultural countries on earth and Canada is not far behind.

March 3, 2011 at 5:44 am
(3) James says:

Australia is not that multicultural. 90% European, 10% other. The European component is a melting pot that after 2 generations becomes generic white.

Diversity is not strength but a problem to be overcome. Desiring to be multicultural country is like desiring to be a bad covers band.

It is better to play your own songs well!

February 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm
(4) Canuck91 says:

No multiculturalism? Take a glance at number seven. One of the worlds most culturally saturated hot beds. Not to mention that Canada is bigger that all other nine on the list. Granted, the population is still kicking only around 30-40 million, but as far as divvying-up the planet geographically, it matters not what the other ten do because Canada is the most diverse country per sq. Km. and she outweighs the other nine combined.

And you seem to have a problem with Asia and Africa being poor represented?

Did you ever stop and think that Asia and africa Just really aren’t that good[to live in]?

March 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm
(5) tine says:

Believe it or not, it takes more than free health care and people from everywhere to make a country worth living in. What I have seen of Canada is boring and I would not live there. Now you are right, Canada is culturally diverse and it may be a great place to live in but that doesn’t mean that Kenya, or South Africa, or Singapore aren’t worth living in. This is a random survey and its results don’t decide whether a place is worth living or not. You think Canada is great and even though I don’t live in India, I think it is the best place to live. There are different opinions in our world so learn to respect them.

May 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(6) cheryl says:

Good comment. Thanks

September 19, 2011 at 9:58 am
(7) So What says:

And your point is what?
Maybee largey homogeneous people with high similarities in skin color, Nine out of ten can be called Christians, Eight out of ten speak largely Germanic languages. Minor representation from mainland Asia, North or South America, or from Africa ACTALLY IS ONE OF THE WORD’S BEST COUNTRIES, Do you have a problem with the measurements then perhaps you can suggest a top list of the most multicultural countries and cross that with this list, In my view the measurements are valid, you are entiteled yo your opinion ofcourse but just flanking in shit is not a worthy comment.

October 17, 2011 at 6:45 am
(8) harold says:

nge… pagsure ba???

November 3, 2011 at 6:08 am
(9) tim says:

I believe Canada is in North America and ranks as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Australia at #4 is the most multicultural country in the world.

November 7, 2011 at 1:12 am
(10) Joe says:

No skin color? Hence the reason they are top contries. No offense to blacks, but the more blacks there are, the worse the country is off..just facts, not being mean, but nobody can argue with real data. Good for them for having “no skin color”.

August 20, 2010 at 3:28 am
(11) Don Hirschberg says:

Oops, even at 2:30 AM Canada is in North America.

August 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm
(12) Debbie Massey says:

What really surprised me about this survey is that most of the countries are socialist states and the unemployment is very high. But what they don’t tell you is that the small minority of plp that work pay hugh taxes to support the large welfare state.

May 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm
(13) Cheryl says:

Canada is not a socialist country. Get your facts straight. Also in the U.S. the schools have to feed free breakfasts and lunches to children. Taxes to pay for all school children is a type of socialism you know. Why can’t parents feed their own children?

August 21, 2010 at 3:16 am
(14) George says:

Where do you see socialist states?
And where is high unemployment?
That doesn’t make sense!
There aren’t any socialist countries in the top10 list, neither there are any of them in Europe, because NATO already destroyed Yugoslavia.
Yes, people in Finland pay high taxes, but their income is still very high.
Although I don’t know how Japan got in the top10 list – it’s also in the top10 countries with the highest suicide record.
In Finland people also drink a lot (more than in Russia).

August 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm
(15) EastofSweden says:

George: “socialist” is an emergency word used when someone wishes to obscure reasons to explain why a country polls better than the United States (and not just in a Newsweek survey). It goes along with the words “high unemployment”, used when someone is unaware that unemployement in the US is currently running at 9.3%, or roughly 1%-point above that in Finland, for instance. “Huge taxes” is of course a popular scare-word to account for “socialist” countries’ obstinate hold on the top places in international surveys of education and health care.

August 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm
(16) Mary Donnelly says:

Thanks for post Matt, and fascinating discussion.

Judging from the discussion the above commentators might do well to refer to your Newsletters and blogs before posting their comments.

1. most countries listed are multicultured e.g. Australia has inhabitants from over 250 countries/regions of the world and over 270 languages are spoken here;

2. most countries listed have low rates of unemployment, e.g. Australia 5.3%, Singapore 2.2% etc.;

3. some of the listed countries have high suicide rates.

The reason these countries are listed the way they are is that Newsweek have chosen certain criteria; other polls using different criteria rate countries differently e.g. The Human Development Index.

August 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm
(17) Don Hirschberg says:

Mary wrote: “. most countries listed are multicultured e.g. Australia has inhabitants from over 250 countries/regions of the world …”

Australia is 92% Caucasion and 7% Asian and 1% aboriginal and other. Buddhists and Islamics are about 2% each. In the eye of this beholder decidedly not muticultural.

August 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm
(18) Mary Donnelly says:

Don

For some reason the figures you quote are not the most up to date, despite being used in, say, the CIA FactBook. However, Caucasians have now slipped under 90%, which is a far cry from 1788 when they were in the minority, and 60 years ago when they were 98%.

I do agree that Australia seems like a homogenious society, because it is. It manages to do so despite having people of different backgrounds.

With people from over 200 regions on the planet, speaking over 250 languages you will seldom find a more multicultured place to live in. e.g. The governments publish many of their documents in about 5 languages.

In the eye of the beholder there are many spots where you might think that you are in China or Vietnam etc. That does not always show through in some statistics.

March 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm
(19) Tina says:

Australia is also known for being very racists towards south east asians and does not like much “diversity” in their country. Now I am sure that there are people there who love the diversity, but as a whole there isn’t that much. Also you wrote in another post that many other these countries have high suicide rates. I am sorry if i sound ignorant, but when people are killing themselves they are usually not happy. If these are supposed to be “best” places to live shouldn’t those rates be lower?

August 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm
(20) AJ says:

USA isn’t number 1 – get over it.

August 23, 2010 at 12:24 am
(21) Randall Taylor says:

It’s interesting that none of the top ten, with the possible exception of Canada and maybe Australia, could maintain their sovereignty against a significant military attack, and would have to call on the US or NATO to save them. Yes, there are positives about these countries, but people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that America is subsidizing their national defense, freeing up extensive funds that get applied to the items being scored in this survey.

November 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(22) TheUrbanMyth says:

Nope. The Swiss for one have a likely chance. Read up on Switzerland, military service and gun ownership.

August 23, 2010 at 1:42 am
(23) Don says:

Mary, If Australia wanted to be a multicultural country they would not have been restricting their neighbors form immigrating for the last couple hundred years. Caucasians would quickly have become a minority.

Australia is a favorite country for Americans to emigrate to – largely because they are NOT multicultural. You might not like the statistics nor the facts but that’s what I go by.

Take a look at world history: Homogeneity succeeds, alas, multiculturalism fails.

August 23, 2010 at 1:45 am
(24) Homogeneous in Toronto says:

Mr. Hirschberg, Canada homogeneous! Don’t think so!

Canada is extremely heterogenous linguistically (Francophones and Anglophones) and ethnoracially. Toronto, the largest city in the country, is about the most ethnically mixed major city in the world and other Canadian cities are only marginally less so. Interdating and intermarriage is common.

You might think that with such characteristics something dramatic would happen; but it doesn’t. We’re still the same dull old place we always were in more “homogeneous” days.

I suppose we made this list largely on the basis of a lot of nice empty scenery. If our population had been crammed into a tight, flat, shrubby little country somewhere like where New Jersey is, we’d probably be down below the 50th percentile.

Our national motto “A nation of over literal-minded squares, too dull to think up a reason for civil war,” probably looked good to the judges too. A lot of our population (or their parents) are refugees from violent conflict. Given what they’ve been through, civil behavior generally is perhaps seen in a slightly more positive light than some other places.

Restaurant food’s not bad in Montreal.

Not much else. Lots of winter.

August 23, 2010 at 3:31 am
(25) Don says:

Homogeneous in Toronto, Just what was your comment supposed to refute?

The fact that some Canadians speak English and some speak French is mainly because the Romans influenced what is now France more than what is now Germany (and Charlemagne’s sons). There was no change in DNA. The French and the Germans (of many nationalities) are one. There is not multiculturalism between Germanic genes and Christianity even if some speak different more Roman influenced modern languages.

Canadians have never had to face muticulturism and it is rather snide to imply that the USA has been guilty of sins in this regard. It is easy to be paternalistic on the side of the angels) to a small indigenous people – but being paternalistic to them does imply superiority to them.

The Black slave trade was by Europeans.

The US has tens of millions of people of different by language, race, culture, ethnic values, religion, DNA. and attitude toward education and the law the land. .

March 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm
(26) Anonymous says:

Clearly you do not know the concept of multiculturalism. Canada is a well known country for being multicultural, and the evidence: go to many Canadian province and you will not only see the indigenous there, but also people from variety of origins, such as Asian, African, and even South American. I live, and am part of this society, and my experience says that children are befriending with variety of people from different races. This is the 21st century, the margins set by the ancestors, clearly are invisible now. Without proof or experience, or being part of this community, it is extremely wrong to come to conclusions.

May 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(27) LaToya says:

I would have to say the USA is the most multicultural country in the world. I mean, even the cities there are different, compare cities like New York, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and you can see how multicultural it is. We have many Chinatowns, we have a lot of Spanish-speaking areas in our major cities, we have places in which people speak a lot of French, and we have over a million people coming here every year. It is the most diverse, whether you want to realize it or not, based purely on numbers (Canada only has about 34 million people and Australia only has about 22~ million, while we have 311~ million).

August 23, 2010 at 3:36 am
(28) Hadrian says:

Overall the comments are rather disappointing and uninformed. Whenever someone subjectively selects a set of criteria and attempts to rate candidate countries, governments, organisations etc there is bound to be disputation. When you start with subjectivity it does not suddenly morph into ablsolutes and objectivity. Notwithstanding, it can be a useful and even entertaining exercise to conduct ratings of this nature.

I have visited a number of the countries on the list and lived in a number of others. And yes, I have visited the US on several occasions.

If we look for exceptions in the list, one obvious one is climatic zones. Australia is the only one which extends into the tropics, indeed almost half of Australia is in the tropics. It is also the only country that is substantially desert. These factors have a profound bearing on the life style of many residents. So geographically Australia is very much the odd one out in the list.

As someone who calls Australia home but presently living abroad, I would just like to share my personal experience with the readers. My normal place of residence is a regional tropical city – Cairns – which I concluded a long time ago was the ‘best’ place in the world to live. Around 50% of the residents were born somewhere else, many overseas. We joke about it being the biggest refugee camp in Australia. There are 70 first languages spoken and we very much celebrate our multi-culturalism. Local radio broadcasts are in at least a dozen languages. National free-to-air multi-channel television service broadcasts in many different languages including Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Indonesian Greek etc.

This ethnic and cultural mix is reflected in most of our large cities but less so in smaller rural cities and towns. You judge if Australia is multi-cultural. It feels like it to me.

Australia has a universal health care system, social services for the unemployed (presently just 5.3% and we didn’t have a recession!) and a good public school system which is presently recieving a high priority for funding – the so-called ‘Education Revolution’. Australians would be insulted to hear the claim that the US is ‘subsidising’ our security. We went to the aid of the US and fought along side the US in Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan. We have our own modern military consistent with our percieved threat and economy but we also put a high priority on helping resolve international security issues by negotiation and peace keeping which is why you will find us in trouble spots like Cyprus, Timor Leste and Lebanon working to avoid further military confrontation. Australia has always tried to be a strong supporter of the UN system.

If one compares the democrtatic systems of Australia with the USA we are very proud of the relative simplicity, accountability and fairness of our system. Every time we see a US Presidential election many Australians just shake their heads in disbelief at some of the archaic complexities, unfairness etc that is built into the US system. In Government, all our Ministers, unlike US Secretaries, are elected representatives and fully accountable to the Parliament and the public.

Having visited most of the countries in the top 10, yes, I can see some of their lifestyle values and advantages but frankly, the lifestyle and where you live is a personal choice. Everytime I go to Switzerland I detest the cold weather but love their democracy and public transport system. In the US I hated the profligate consumerism and ugliness of cities, the very poor public transport but loved the west coast forests and national parks. I just happened to have looked at the alternatives for places to live and work, including within Australia and now could not imagine a lifestyle that did not include tropical climate, a swimming pool, lots of forest and wildlife, a multi-cultural community, a sense of community and sharing with a lot of people who feel the same way. I have found my ‘Best’ country and my ‘Best’ city but that is my choice, purely subjective and I don’t expect others to agree. In fact I don’t want people voting with their feet and coming to Cairns – our population level is about right.

August 23, 2010 at 5:22 am
(29) Ken says:

Something everyone has missed is every country on the list has a low birth rate.

Most countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East have birth rates that outstrip the countries ability to provide for their people.

August 23, 2010 at 8:01 am
(30) EastofSweden says:

Randall Taylor wrote:
“It’s interesting that none of the top ten, with the possible exception of Canada and maybe Australia, could maintain their sovereignty against a significant military attack, and would have to call on the US or NATO to save them. Yes, there are positives about these countries, but people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that America is subsidizing their national defense, freeing up extensive funds that get applied to the items being scored in this survey.”

This will come as news – rather shocking news – to the people of Finland (1), Switzerland (2), and Sweden (3), who were unaware that their countries had joined NATO, and who will doubtless even now be asking their elected representatives how this significant foreign policy measure slipped through during the summer slow-news season. In the somewhat unlikely case of an significant military attack by another power, the European Union would ostensibly be the ones coming to the rescue of the Finns and Swedes. However, the Finns are perfectly used to the idea that nobody will show up: nobody (including the United States) showed up in late 1939 when the Soviet Union attacked Finland. It is rather specious to imply that the United States is subsidising Finland’s defence, though some cynics might suggest that Finland’s geographical position (east of Sweden) is doing that job quite nicely for the Swedes…

September 19, 2011 at 10:04 am
(31) OMG says:

That long post is just completly rubbish.

August 23, 2010 at 11:36 am
(32) Steve says:

Randall Taylor – some countries don’t go around messing with other countries and therefore tend not to need to spend trillions on defense.

August 23, 2010 at 11:37 am
(33) Mark says:

Interesting list. I’ve visited 8 of the top 10 countries depicted here, so this gives me some pause as I plan my next itinerary. Incidentally, these are all capitalist countries and many employ a different taxation structure than does the U.S. True, tax rates may be higher on the front end, but we may discover that U.S. citizens may pay more proportionally on the back end (e.g. expensive health care, higher crime rates and associated costs, lack of mass transit). I think it would be wise to weigh the lessons here and not resort to silly labeling games (“socialist”) or juvenile braggadocio about the U.S being called upon to “save them” in case of military attack. This mentality is, in part, why we are losing our way, folks.

December 1, 2011 at 12:40 am
(34) Gary says:

Excellent comments Mark. Thanks for looking at the big picture. Too many folks are quick to be defensive instead of taking some lessons from the way other countries do things. By the way, in some of these countries with higher tax rates, the people themselves asked to pay higher rates. You have to look at the bottom line before making a judgment on whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. You can’t just call higher tax rates bad if you haven’t considered what you’re getting in return for those higher taxes. If a nation chooses to pool their resources for the betterment of all, I think they have the right to do so, and should not be demonized for doing so.

August 23, 2010 at 11:49 am
(35) EastofSweden says:

Mark hits the nail squarely on the head. National pride is a great thing, but national hubris is not going to get anyone anywhere.
At no point in the Newsweek study was it claimed that Finland (or any of the other suspects) was the best place in the world for an American, any more than the United States would suit a Finn. There are things both sides can learn from the results. Sadly, many right-wing commentators in the US believe only in giving anodynes to their public, and in exhorting them to believe blindly that “We are #1″.
In many ways I envy them the ease of their task: I very much doubt the Finns would be so malleable or susceptible to such claims without hard facts to back them up.

August 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm
(36) North of 49 says:

It’s interesting to note that for Americans, multiculturalism is equated with race…

August 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm
(37) Sharon says:

Notice that all of these countries are far from the equator?

December 1, 2011 at 12:44 am
(38) Gary says:

What’s your point Sharon? Is there something better about being farther away from the equator or are you simply a racist? What a boneheaded thing to say!

August 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm
(39) Ryan says:

I agree that “best” is just too far fetched as a term to describe countries. It discounts the amazing diversity our world offers. I prefer rankings like the “happiest”.

August 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm
(40) John M says:

Sharon, Australia is only a few degrees from the equator

August 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm
(41) Mary Donnelly says:

Hadrian :

I agree with just about everything you said except I prefer Mareeba up in the mountains, I don’t like the humidity in Cairns.

Don

Newsweek was analysing Australia as it is today, not its history.

I agree that the treatment of our indigenous peoples and Chinese immigrants has been appalling in the past, but we are learning. In the 1960′s I went to university with Australia’s first indigenous university graduate, I met many Asians there too, and by the early 1970′s we had officially abandonned our ‘White Australia Policy’.

Statistics can give one a guide, but the man with his head in a fridge and feet in a fire, on average feels fine, but in reality is uncomfortable in two places.

Demographers are now forecasting that by around 2050 there will be scarcely any “pure Causcasians”, because so many Australians will have intergrated and co-habited with each other–the opposite of ethnic cleansing.

Ken

Australians are now debating our huge population increase, much of which is natural increase.

August 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm
(42) Don Hirschberg says:

Mary, I see that I utterly failed to make my point. I’ll say it brutally.

If Australia and Canada and the US had allowed Chinese to immigrate (beyond tiny “quotas”) these nations would have become largely Chinese and world history world have developed very differently.

August 25, 2010 at 9:11 am
(43) Eark Adams says:

What about the independent countries in the Caribbean : Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kittis-Nevis,,,,,,,

September 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm
(44) Cinoeye says:

I’m really wondering why was Serbia left out the list? I know we are not Switzerland, and we would not be ranked as high as maybe Greece, but was this just an overlook or something else?Actually, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro are missing too!
BTW, 101th ranking is questionable. Education, Quality of Life, and health is not so much different than Croatia or Romania, not to mention Albania…

Burkina Faso or Zambia, how about Vietnam, KAzahstan, Colombia, belarus, Moldova, Senegal, Ghana, Azerbeijan, Botswana, JAmaica, Uganda, BAngladesh…better than Serbia!?!
Croatia and Bulgaria are somewhat closest to real overall Serbian rankings.
EVen if Serbia, Montenegro and MAcedonia are the biggest dumps, you really think that ALbania, Croatia, Bulgaria, ROmania, or even worse Ghana,Ethiopia, Botswana, Tanzania..should be ranked ahead!?
I strongly believe it is some kind of an overlook, and not something that EagleSmack listed as possible reason.
Even after civil war that ended in 95(99 kosovo) Serbia had strong growth in the last 15 years, and specially in the last 5. Only last and this year was bad for everyone.

As much as some people see Serbia in bad light and Serbia is some crazy muddy Borat land(even tough Kazakhstan is in Asia) there would still be states on the list that are worst.
As it for now, most Asian, African and S. American countries ranked between 100 and 150 gdp and hdi are listed as top 100 to live in.
Just some other funny facts about Serbia, apart from the genocide.
Serbia is top 15, and very often top 10 and top 5 in most major sports(tennis, soccer, basketball, valleyball, handball, water polo…) (except hokey haha).
At least 17 ROman Emperors where born in what is today Serbia, including COnstantin who adopted Christianity.
Belgrade is one of the oldest Capitals in Europe, and has one of the best nightlifes in the world. Girls are hottesttop ever!

So if you are scared to come and live in Serbia, come and visit, have fun, have some Kangaroo balls…and than go live in Vietnam, CUba, Ethiopia, or Albania since they are ranked higher

August 8, 2011 at 11:45 am
(45) Alexey says:

Oh, my God, are you saying that Kazakhstan,
the country where i’m living must stay in the end of the list?
Are you sure?

The prices in Kaz is big enough,
Lifestylie and life-level is big, even for some European countries.

We are multinational too,
We have so many different religions and celebrate all holidays
Muslim and Christian,…
it’s Happiness, isn’t it?
when people live all together, noone care who is who,
It makes Kazakhstan one of the best countries,

Of course we don’t have all cities and villages civilized, but have you even been in Astana or Almaty?

Stay fan of Borat,
I see you IQ

September 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm
(46) Rachael says:

Canada IS one of the most, if not the most, multicultural countries in the world.

Oh, and the majority of American’s are Caucasian, so no American on here should be throwing x-country-not-multicultural-enough stones…

September 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm
(47) jason says:

well canada is very nice as rachel siad if not great and whats up with people saying canada is too cold right now it is 34 degresse in toronto that as hot if more then flordia and plus the untited states has 52 states and they are all the same canada has 12 provinses and each one is uniqe! our own country “ahhe” (lol)

October 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm
(48) Andrea says:

Jason, each state is unique as well, but yes, each province is unique. The geography is so diverse in north america, it has a compleate spectum of landscapes.
About multiculturalism, for the people who say multiculturalism fails, it only fails if you want it to fail. If you work hard to create national policies that respect diversity, while still maintaining a set of core values in your country that everyone abides by, multiculturalism will work just fine.

November 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm
(49) australia rulz says:

AUSSIES ARE MULTICULTRAL

November 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm
(50) Heather says:

How would you define multiculturalism?
Is it where the person is originally from? Where their family is from? The culture or religion they go by? Their /appearance/? All of them at once?
I find it a rather interesting topic to bump around, considering that it’s the one that’s been mostly discussed here. With the countries that are listed I would say it depends on how you define that multiculuralism.
For example: I would not say Australia is the most multicultural country in the world right now, at all, considering how multiculuralism is being described here. But when you look at how we’ve developed over just fourty years of taking away our “White Australia Policy” we have grown exceptionally and are still continuing to do so. Really, I would say that our own culture /is/ muliculuralism. We are a reasonably young, so it’s hard to say we even have our own, pure race yet. Everyone I know – /everyone/ – has a relative in their family which is from another country.

Each country is always developing in this aspect – within just another decade, how can we predict what the statitics are then? We can’t. I think it would just be wisest to accept that each country is continuing to develop in their own way, with their own mixture of culture.

November 11, 2010 at 5:14 am
(51) Clara says:

I agree with Heather how do you define multiculturalism.
I live in Australia and i think there is a quite a mix of cultures. I have friends who are themselves from at least 4 different countries, on three different continents, at least. and friends who are many different religions. i don’t really care to ask I prefer to judge people on their personality, not where they came from.
Also i find Caucasian a very loose term, for within it there are many different cultures some not very similar to each other at all. Historically there has also a certain level of discrimination between different white groups. E.g. The English to the Irish and Welsh. If you were to ask white Australians about where their families came from you would get countries from all over europe (where there are vastly different cultures).
i find it interesting how to Americans culture and race seem to be the same.
Now i haven’t been to the other countries on the list but i know people who have and i have been to America and i all i can say is that each country will have it’s good and it’s bad points, rather than go on about how bad countries are at one thing look at what they do well then see what your country does well. if you try you will find it will probably even out.

November 11, 2010 at 5:23 am
(52) Clara says:

And also i must ask how this became a debate about the multiculturalism of Australia and Canada. It has nothing to do with the “Best” countries of the world.

November 13, 2010 at 4:41 am
(53) amol Pote says:

Where do u see india here ? i guess india is good option to do all the things under one roof

November 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm
(54) Kieran says:

Australia is the greatest place in the world!
Melbourne is definitely one of the best places to live

People are very proud to be Australian, but its different to American pride. Americans are so pro-America and too stubborn to care about the rest of the world.
Sorry, just a brief opinion

February 19, 2011 at 6:53 am
(55) east melburnian says:

melbourne is a great place but for e.g if you went to west melbourne youd be a minority compared to all the lebanese and asians.. ive been to places in melb where every single shop has asian wirting on it

December 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm
(56) Stephen ***INVESTOR*** says:

THE GREATEST PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT WOULD BE THAT OF A CHRISTIAN/ CATHOLIC/ OR ANGLO-CATHOLIC BACKGROUND THAT HAS TIES AT LEAST 1 MAIN OFFICIAL GERMANIC LANGUAGE

December 30, 2010 at 12:16 am
(57) AUSTALIA says:

Finland is a gay country GOOOO AUSTRALIA!!!

March 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm
(58) Anonymous says:

Clearly you have a very low IQ, first learn to be much more nationalistic, by spelling your country’s name correctly, rather than accusing another country. Correct use of vocabulary is necessary, as the word ” gay” can not be used to describe a country. Further your reasearch honey, before you say such indisciplined comments.

September 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm
(59) Nathan says:

Both Australia and Finland are spelt correctly in this instance. You may be confusing Australia with Austria?

Some notes on Australia, dispelling misinformation posted above:

- Australia is not a socialist country, it is a capitalist, constitutional monarchy. Just because we take measures to ensure those at the fringes of society are taken care of does not equal socialism, and even if it did, this should not have negative connotations associated with it.

- Australia does not have high unemployment. 5.2%. In comparison, the U.S is upwards of 9%.

- Over 50% (yes half) of the Australian population were born overseas. My immediate friendship group contains people of German, Croatian, Indian, Italian, British, and Japanese decent. If this isn’t indicative of a multicultural society, I don’t know what is.

- Australia is not a christian country. There is no state religion, and in fact, Australia has one of the lowest number people practicing religion in the world. The fastest growing religious group on the census is that of the ‘Jedi’.

January 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm
(60) jill says:

well to clear the record, canada is largely multicultural and the scandanavian countries have the largest numbers of athiests in the world.

and suck it usa, you guys always think your #1 and you cant even make the top 10 list

February 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm
(61) Angela says:

Multiculturalism does not work in most countries. Have a look at the crime statistics in Australia for one nearly every vicious crime is committed by either islanders or arabs etc. They all cry discrimination but they never do anything to help themselves the aboriginals for one get enormous amounts of welfare cry that they are not respected etc but they do nothing to earn the respect of the nation. Integration would be far more workable that multiculturalism. We need to work as one but multiculturalism does not work that way they are too hell bent on being the nationality of their fathers not of the nation they were born in.

February 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm
(62) Knative says:

There are 192 countries in the world. The US is ranked 11th according to this survey. That puts the US at being a better place to live than 94% of all countries in this survey.
As per population, that would still put the US around the 90% mark.
Bear in mind that the US has population that is about the same size as the top ten countries PUT together. So if the US is considered “multicultural” then y’all can suck on your hatred of multiculturalism.

April 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm
(63) AlexMatt says:

We,canadians,are sick of this multiculturalism crap.We have to preserve our heritage and identity, enough is enough of this bs…

May 6, 2011 at 12:24 am
(64) EMP says:

i agree. too many immigrants are taking jobs away from canadian citizens. WTF! Its sad to see someone who cant speak a word of english, and get hired by the Government with a permanent position. Then you have your Cdn citizen with multiple degrees working at timmies cuz all the jobs are being taken by outsiders…. bull crap man, thats why so many canadians have to leave the country so they can find a friggin decent job….

August 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm
(65) Marc says:

You folks are idiots. You cannot speak on behalf of all Canadians as you were not elected too. Now run along and continue your vile hatred.

May 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm
(66) Abdullah says:

These are the best countries in the world:
1.Pakistan
2.UAE
3. Thailand
4.Japan
5. USA/UK
6.South Korea
7.Canada
8. Australia
9.Austria
10.Spain/Mexico/France

October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am
(67) suyog says:

yes pakistan is no1 but terrorist / religious / curuupt / country..
whole world knows that.

July 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm
(68) Brigitta West says:

An Aussie of Croatian heritage married Richard whos Grandparents emigrated to Melbourne because an Englishman & Scots woman wanted to marry & this was frowned upon. Have now lived in the UK 4 1/2 years & want to go back to Qld eventually, maybe via Portugal.
Why is Australia in general best?
Well its not all about the weather but about how the people I am surrounded by make me feel. That’s why I think Oz is best. They allow you to be who who are – creative/innovative,etc, have ethical & most importantly moral values & well why cant life just be one giant holiday really. The planet is so overpopulated that I just want to retire to a sanctuary where i can be creative & not have to justify my very existence. It’s a Global society now & I can only hope that people get that it’s not just about them but the planet & future. The animal kingdom & nature in general regulates its environment so why shouldn’t we. Keep the population at manageable levels. Go green fuel so we can travel & explore guilt free. Viva la Difference & enjoy!!

August 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm
(69) wal says:

You all have it wrong. The number one Multicultural country in the world is Suriname.

We have all kind off people living hormoniously togehther.

People from, India, Indonesia, Africa, Israel, Holland and many more people all over the world.

It’s normal that those Suriname citizen comming from all over the world get married one another.

Where in the world you can find an Mosque and Synagogue
as neighbours, pray at the same time. They also visit each other house of prayer.

It’s normal that a Jew visit an eating house from an Moslim.

Visit this site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Paramaribo_synagogue_and_mosque.JPG

September 18, 2011 at 1:08 am
(70) BlackBritish/Australian says:

Cultural diversity is not just about colour, its about nationality, customs and so on. im from Australia and there is alot of africans and alot more asians. there is more asians than aboriginals in australia these days :S

September 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm
(71) Chan says:

south korea is definitely disputed as the first or second, and it’s not on the list…

October 2, 2011 at 6:53 am
(72) Mike says:

Australia is a fascinating place to be. So far from the rest of the world Australia makes you feel like the rest of the world does not matter. Wonderful geography, safe, clean. It’s what the USA wishes it was!

December 1, 2011 at 12:55 am
(73) Unidentified says:

We should all stop arguing over who is the best. We live in a wonderful and diverse world where there is room for everyone. If your particular favorite did not make the list, it really doesn’t matter. These surveys don’t mean much anyway. Love all people and you will live a rich and fulfilling life.

December 11, 2011 at 5:14 am
(74) Mitchell Brown says:

All this negativity about Australia , it make me sad that all you people rely in statistics. Why don’t you come visit us. Then you can judge us, we are multicultural, we do sometimes clash with our views, we are predominantly christian, but most of us are happy living next to Buddhists or Muslims, we learn from them. We treated the aboriginals badly, we said sorry! We are not all “white” I invite you to the suburb of black town in Sydney, ironically guess what the main skin colour is there!
I welcome all those Americans who read about Australia, cross the pacific, we’ll be waiting. See us for who we are, not what the CIA says, don’t just look at Wikipedia, save your money, come to the worlds undisputebly most successful democracy(that is a real fact, you get charged for not voting; which is a good thing), see and experience our multiculturalism, and while your here find your inner Aussie!
Where the bloody hell are you; stuck behind your computer, trying to tell me I don’t live in one of the worlds greatest nations?

December 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm
(75) James says:

Australia is a great place to live. We have a great economy, great healthcare a mix of many different cultures and have a high standard of living. I think a lot of the European countries seem pretty awesome to live in as well having just backpacked around the world for the last year. I have to say I couldnt even consider living in the USA though its turned intoa bit of a dump with homeless people everywehre and crazy right-wing nutjobs complaining about socialism on the TV every night.

January 11, 2012 at 4:26 am
(76) Aidan w says:

It shouldn’t matter what a list says about which country is the best. I live in Australia and I naturally think its the best place to live for me, but that’s because my family, friends and history are from here. Its always fun to debate, but questions like “what’s the best country?’ are never going to have an answer that everyone agrees with. Because peoples friends family, history and beliefs are not in every country.

January 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm
(77) Allen says:

Australia, particularly Melbourne is the greatest place to live. It is diverse and at the same time everyone is the same because anyone who has lived in Australia for an extended period of time becomes immersed in the australian spirit. Being Australian is a lifestyle and it’s infectious.

February 3, 2012 at 6:11 am
(78) Ahmad says:

Canada is the best country to live in.

March 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm
(79) TA says:

These countries on this list are some of the most multicultural countries in the world, your wrong. Just because your country didn’t make it doesn’t mean it sucks, it just means it’s not as awesome as these places.

March 9, 2012 at 3:10 am
(80) Thinker says:

I respect the governments on the top ten list and they are all nice places however Australia has a small population and is in the front runners for every aspect of the global community such as the olympics we usually come 6 or 7 every time.. Science we have made many amazing discoveries over the years plus we are able to defend ourselves without any help. We have one of the worlds strongest economies. Also Australia is vey multicultural

May 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm
(81) brittany =] says:

i think we all fail to see the point that they got all the information from THE PEOPLE.

i live in america, just becaus eits diverse, that doesnt make it great.
cool, i think by now we all know canada is big and multicultural. but this wasnt based on that, you think it should be #1 because YOU live there.

it doesnt matter if the people are caucasion, african, or even bulgarian.
this was based on their way of life && how they are currently living it.

maybe if everyone began traveling the world more, you’d see that there is always somewhere better.
based merely on opionion, something we all have in common.

June 21, 2012 at 10:52 am
(82) SlyEli says:

Who gives a rat’s ass. Live where you want…don’t live where you don’t want to live. You are the center of your universe whereever you are, and home is where you hang your hat.

August 7, 2012 at 12:58 am
(83) Jean says:

Many comments!!! Hope this one change the path of this discussion. I am in my late 40′s and lived in 5 countries in 4 continents.i visited 130 countries until now..l you know which one is the best country? There is not one but,any, depends the person, in life all is relative!!!!L. I can tell some few..but good for me! NOT FOR YOU!! Everybody has different priorities and the best country change according with it. I can choose Indonesia, Venezuela or Brazil… people are awesome in all of them… but, I do not have kids, I do not care about money , I love adventure.For a conservative one, somewhere like UK is better.. There is not a best country to live and emigrate, there arw suitable countries for each different individual… Believe or not, in this moment I choose USA and I feel better here than anyway for work…. After retiring I will move! Therefore as final reflection, even for one particular person .. the better country deal with change with the time!!!!

November 24, 2012 at 9:22 am
(84) Geetee says:

My opinion: Australia is the best place to live.

Fact: Australia is one o the most multicultural countries in the world. When you say ’90% of the population is white’, that’s incredibly wrong. Half the people here are immigrants. 80% of people are of European ancestry, but really grouping them all into just ‘white’ people, is a fucking stupid generalisation. We have British and Irish of course, Greek and Italian, Turkish, Lebanese… And whilst over 80% of the population being Caucasian (which includes bengali people by the way) seems really monocultural, you forget relative to other nations, 20% non-white is a big amount. Lets also not forget the difference between culture and skin colour. An anglo-Australian might look like a Serbian migrant, but their cultures are vastly different.

We are not racist. I am Chinese (but born here, and I speak with a fucking bogan accent), and aside from some friendly teasing in primary school, I’ve never been discriminated against.

November 28, 2012 at 11:55 am
(85) scott says:

What is with all the bigoted remarks in this thread? I live in Canada and we have a multicultural society.You can’t blame a nation’s problems on skin color or immigration.If you have a large “under class” of folks living on the streets resorting to crime or filling up your jails there is a reason and It boil’s down to how you deal with social problems and issues like health and education.The more enlightened the country and it’s government the more well off and happier it’s citizens.

December 27, 2012 at 10:29 am
(86) Milo Horvath says:

A quick glance at the top ten list tells me that countries like Finland, Sweden, Luxembourgh, Netherlands, Norway will in ten years time neighter be on the top ten nor top 100. Why? They dont know how to handle multiculturalism. Those countries are too fragile. When millions of people from poor countries invade them they crash.Its already happening. Personally I visited Sweden last november, I went to a town called Malmo. I spent five days there. I didnt see a single Swede. Only Middle Easterns and Africans mostly Somalians. The ethno-swedes didnt dare staying outdoors after eight o clock in the evenings. Afraid of being robbed, raped etc

April 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm
(87) Donovan says:

What happen USA and UK not in the top 3 we have some serious work to do,

April 15, 2013 at 8:34 am
(88) Alberto Pinto says:

Venezuela should be one of the best places on earth, multicultural, joy all the time, good income, but is lack of justice, and corruption.

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