The Best Countries for Quality of Life in Southeast Asia

The Philippines is actually near the top.

No surprise: European countries topped CEOWorld’s 2021 rankings of the World’s Best Countries For Quality of Life. CEOWorld Magazine analyzed the countries based on 10 metrics ranging from stability to equality and found that it was the relatively quiet countries of Scandinavia and Northern Europe that came out on top. 

If you have any plans of migrating, here are some countries to consider: Finland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Sweden, as these countries comprise the top five countries in terms of quality of life. Other choices include Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Japan, which close the top 10.

The results are hardly a surprise: these countries have been consistently named the happiest countries, the best retirement countries, and plenty of other superlatives. So instead, let’s zoom into Southeast Asia to see how the Philippines ranks compared to its neighbors. 

Based on the report. Singapore is the best country in terms of quality of life in Southeast Asia, ranking 19th on the list. The next Southeast Asian country to appear is Thailand, which beat the Philippines by just a few points for the 38th spot. 

The Philippines came in 39th place, making it the third ranking country in terms of quality for life in Southeast Asia. Malaysia came in 41st place, Brunei in 49th, Indonesia in 58th, and Vietnam in 62nd. Myanmar, which continues to grapple with political instability, came in 101st place while Cambodia settled at 111th. 


Laos and East Timor were not included in the report as it only included the 165 biggest contributors to the world’s GDP. 

The results may come as a pleasant (or unpleasant) surprise to some, and even incite arguments from others. But it's important to remember to always take these reports with a grain of salt as they rarely reflect experiences on the ground. 

The report was based on the participation of 250,000 individuals from 165 countries. CEOWorld based its rankings on the following metrics: affordability, economic stability, family-friendliness, job market, income inequality, political neutrality and stability, safety, cultural influence, public education system, and public health system. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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