In the global climate where governments are starting to understand the true importance of human wellbeing, actions are being taken to make cities a better place to live.

A new index developed by Fitbit identifies the hotspots for wellness around the world. By examining 77 major cities around the globe it reveals the best and worst cities to live in, based on the wellbeing of its inhabitants. Of course, the state of wellbeing is multi-faceted, which is why the data has been broken down into 15 different metrics.

Using a bespoke ranking system, the 15 different metrics have been grouped into 4 categories: day-to-day living, it’s all business, safety first and going green. With 10 being the best score possible and 0 being the lowest, here are the key findings:

Top 10 Countries to Live in Revealed

The index reveals that Europe is leading the way in terms of wellbeing. Particularly the Nordic countries, which dominate the top 3 spots on the list.

Top 10 Score
1)      Reykjavik (Iceland) 112.32
2)      Helsinki (Finland) 110.39
3)      Oslo (Norway) 109.63
4)      Copenhagen (Denmark) 109.39
5)      Munich (Germany) 105.34
6)      Vienna (Austria) 105.21
7)      Berlin (Germany) 103.32
8)      Stockholm (Sweden) 103.21
9)      Amsterdam (Netherlands) 102.47
10)   Edinburgh (UK) 101.22

Taking a closer look at the data, one can see why the top two cities were awarded their positions in the ranking. In first place, Reykjavik (Iceland) received a score of 112.32, as it was marked a perfect 10 for traffic, LGBTQIA+ acceptance and gender equality. But, not only is Reykjavik paving the way for women at work and closing the gender gap, they also have a high youth unemployment score.

What’s more, the city is accommodating for people with children, as even though monthly salary has a mediocre score of 4.60, childcare costs vastly outweigh this with a score of 9.14. So, regardless of salary, childcare will always be affordable in the capital city of Iceland.

Helsinki, Finland came in a close second with a score of 110.93, thanks to safety being a top priority for the people of the city. The safety score of 9.03 pairs well with their excellent quality of green spaces, which was also awarded a high score of 9.23 – so people can spend more time in nature without worrying about their security. Where the city dropped in points is monthly salary (scoring 3.53), meaning the people of Helsinki have a lower earning potential, so they have less disposable income to spend on relaxation and entertainment. This monetary stress can be correlated to the below-par mental health score of 4.40.

Where are you least likely to burn out?

Least likely to burn out Most likely to burn out
Oslo Cape Town
London Bologna
Melbourne Valencia

If you’re looking for the place to get the perfect work-life balance, it’s best to head to Oslo in Norway. This city is second in the world for gender equality (scoring 9), so women stand a better chance of gaining an equal footing in the workplace. Not only are women almost fully represented, the youth workforce is also in a good position for employment (scoring 8.74). This could be because it’s a city with a thriving economy (scoring 8.74).

And, even though they only rank 14th on the list for monthly salary (scoring 4.45), it proves that the other factors are important as it results in a higher happiness score of 8.58. So, with good scores for happiness and equal employment opportunities, it makes it a good city to live for a stable work-life balance and reduced risk of burnouts.

At the other end of the scale, scoring poorly for work/life balance is Cape Town (South Africa). It scored a 0 for youth unemployment, and the monthly salary is just as bad. Furthermore, with city innovation almost non-existent at 0.96, it rounds it off to a very low trifactor of little innovation, no work and not a lot of pay.

With a healthcare quality score of 0 and happiness score not that much better at 0.98, it’s easy to see why burnout rates would be high.

Two Italian cities that haven’t done too well on the index are Bologna and Florence:

– Bologna scored 3.39 for gender equality, 2.12 for city innovation, 4.33 for youth unemployment and 1.88 for monthly salary

– Florence also scored 3.39 for gender equality, 4.33 for youth unemployment, 2.81 for city innovation and 1.89 for monthly salary scoring.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.