Travel

Guess where the new best place on earth to live is? Clue: it's not Denmark

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Alex Peake-Tomkinson
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In recent years, Scandinavian countries have tended to top polls for the happiest places to live. Denmark took the top spot on the United Nation's World Happiness Report in 2013 and 2014 and came in third in the 2015 report, following closely behind Switzerland and Iceland.

The famous Danish work-life balance and their emphasis on the art of hygge, best translated as cosiness, makes them an obvious contender for best country in the world to live in.

Can you guess where has just landed the coveted top spot now?

Brazil? Sweden? No, it’s Germany.

Young couple eating hot dogs in a German city centre

Hot dogs are not officially listed as a reason why Germany is the best place to live, but they could be a factor

According to a US News & World Report out this week that polled 16 000 people worldwide, Germany was ranked the best place to live in the world. The rankings report praised Germany for its support of entrepreneurs, its growing role as a global leader and its high quality of life, among other factors.

The survey’s respondents were asked to associate each of the 60 countries listed with particular qualities. Their responses were then broken down into various categories which included adventure, power, cultural influence, heritage, entrepreneurship and quality of life.

Bavarian Alps in springtime

The Bavarian Alps in springtime

Germany was followed in the rankings by Canada in second, then the United Kingdom. The UK was rated highly partly for its support for entrepreneurs. The United States and Sweden came in fourth and fifth place.

Fairly predictably, France was ranked highest for cultural influence. Algeria was perceived as the worst country of the 60 rated, and the Ukraine and Iran were rated only slightly better.

Paris

France was rated top for cultural influence - to the surprise of no one

Whilst Germany scored among the top ten worldwide countries for the categories of entrepreneurship, quality of life and green living, perhaps because of its reputation as quite a dour nation, it scored relatively poorly in "adventure", ranking 45 out of 60.

In the adventure category, it was given only a 1.2 out of 10 for fun, a 3 for friendliness and a deeply unsexy 0.1 for sexiness.

Brazil, by way of contrast, got top marks for adventure, followed by Italy and Spain.

Copacabana beach in Brazil, the best country for an adventure

Copacabana beach in Brazil, the best country for an adventure

Germany ranked highly in areas that might be appealing for young people – it was rated the second place to starting a career and the fourth best place for education.

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Alex Peake-Tomkinson

Alex Peake-Tomkinson is a freelance writer who is a fan of eating in fancy restaurants alone. It gives her more time to read and she would usually rather be reading but when not reading, she likes watching Spanish football and baking spectacularly hit and miss cakes.

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