Canada is top for quality of life in 2020


Being safe, politically stable, and having a well-developed public health system drove Canada's quality of life ranking to the top of the Best Countries 2020 List. For the fifth year in a row, people from around the world named Canada as the top country for quality of life. Out of the countries surveyed, Canada ranked number one overall for being politically stable, number two for having a good job market, and number four for having a well-developed public education system. Global citizens also ranked Canada high for having a well-developed public health system.

The 2020 Best Countries rankings were conducted by U.S. News & World Report. A total of 20,548 people from 36 countries were surveyed on their perceptions of 73 countries. Countries were assessed in nine different categories that were weighted to produce an overall score:

  • Quality of Life

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Adventure

  • Citizenship

  • Cultural Influence

  • Heritage

  • Movers

  • Open for Business

  • Power

Canada came in second place overall, falling behind Switzerland, which came in first overall but did not place on top in any one category.


In the “Citizenship” category, Canada placed second behind Sweden. Countries that scored high in this section were perceived to care about human rights, the environment, gender equality, and religious freedom. They were also seen as progressive, as respecting property rights, being trustworthy, and having well-distributed political power.

In the “Open for Business” category, Canada finished third behind Luxembourg and Switzerland. This category is for countries that are perceived to be “business-friendly”. Countries were assessed based on their level of bureaucracy, manufacturing costs, corruption, tax environment and government practices. Canada ranked high for scoring zero out of 10 for perceived level of corruption and a perfect “10” for transparent government.

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