As one of the most stable and prosperous democracies on Earth, the quality of life in Canada is second to none. Crime and corruption are low. Health care and public services are reliable and affordable. Canadian citizens can consider themselves safe and well-liked throughout the world. And economic growth is steady and strong.

If you need a reason to move to Canada, we could give you ten or twelve. And yet, in this land of superlatives, you’ll find the people to be remarkably modest, kind and considerate.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about moving to Canada is getting used to the tranquility. It’s a little like trying to sleep in a cabin in the woods when you’re used to living in an urban apartment. The peace and quiet can be deafening.

But don’t worry, you’ll get used to it!

Canada ranked number one for Quality of Life

US News and World Report, who famously ranks countries and universities with its carefully curated criteria recently named Canada number one for quality of life. And what’s more, this is the fourth year in a row that Canada has earned the top spot on this list.

Criteria for Quality of Life

The study, conducted in partnership with the BAV Group and the University of Pennsylvania, looked at nine different social and economic categories to measure the quality of life in about 80 different countries.

  • affordability
  • job market
  • economic stability
  • family friendliness
  • income equality
  • political stability
  • safety
  • public education
  • public health

Canada scored high in each of these categories to top the overall list. The judges awarded Canada a perfect 10 for both public education and political stability. And they received a near perfect score for their health care system.

Best countries for Quality of Life

Canada has enjoyed the number one position on this list for four years in a row, from 2016 to 2019. And among the top ten countries, you’ll find it populated by the usual suspects from Scandinavia, northern Europe and Oceana.

  1. Canada
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. Finland
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. New Zealand
  10. Germany

What makes the Quality of Life in Canada superior?

We know that Canada is a safe and comfortable place to live. Ordinary citizens and economic analysts all  agree. Besides the study conducted by US News and World Report, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has draw its own very similar conclusions. In a world filled with strife and dissent, here’s something that everyone can finally agree on.

The OECD uses its own slightly different criteria to rank the countries of the world, but the results are similar, and Canada still receives top marks.

  • Income: The average Canadian household has about $30,000 in disposable income. There’s a wealth gap between the rich and poor, but not nearly as severe as that in the U.S. The work-life balance is about average for a developed country.
  • Employment: 73% of Canadians between 15 and 64 years old have paid jobs. Unemployment is relatively low, and overwork is also significantly lower than the international average.
  • Housing: Housing is fairly expensive in Canada, accounting for about 20% of the average Canadian’s disposable income. But the vast majority of Canadians have access to adequate housing — safe, clean and not overcrowded.
  • Education: Literacy rates in Canada are among the highest in the world. 91% of adults have completed secondary school.
  • Health: Life expectancy is very high in Canada, 82 years compared to the OECD average of 80.
  • Environment: Air quality and water quality are also very high in this land of vast resources and open areas.
  • Community: More than 90% of Canadians say they have someone to turn to in a time of need, well above the OECD average. Civic engagement is also somewhat high, with a voter turnout between 65-70% in major elections.
  • Life satisfaction: When asked how satisfied they are with their lives, on a scale of 0-10, the average Canadian says about 7.5. That’s about 1 point higher than the OECD average.


Quality of life in Canada is nothing to sneeze at. Society runs well in the Great White North, and the people are generally happy and healthy. If you’re considering a relocation to Canada for any reason, we’re here to help. ARIANNE Relocation has been helping families and professionals make the move to Canada for more than 20 years. Check out our range of products and services, or take a look at some of our most popular and informative articles:

PHOTO CREDIT: Quality of Life in Toronto, Canada (Unsplash)