RANKED: The 19 best countries to live in if you’re a woman

  • The US News & World Report has released its annual ranking of the Best Countries for Women.
  • Based on a survey of nearly 9,000 women around the world, the list is part of the wider Best Countries ranking.
  • To produce the Best Countries for Women list, 80 countries were given scores across five attributes: human rights, gender equality, income equality, progress, and safety.
  • Unsurprisingly, Scandinavian countries dominated.

Sweden has regained its place as the best country for women to live in, having lost the top spot in an annual ranking from US News & World Report to Denmark last year.

Released ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8, the Best Countries for Women ranking was put together following a survey of nearly 9,000 women as part of the media organisation’s wider Best Countries ranking.

The full 2019 Best Countries List surveyed 20,000 “informed elites,” “business decision-makers,” and members of the general public worldwide to discover how 80 different countries are perceived on a global scale for 65 different attributes grouped into nine categories, including quality of life, adventure, citizenship, and power.

Read more: 2018’s best countries to live in if you’re a woman

Each country was also given an equally-weighted score across five attributes in order to produce the women-focused ranking: care about human rights, gender equality, income equality, progress, and safety.

Unsurprisingly, Scandinavian countries dominated the list.

Keep reading to see 2019’s 19 best countries in the world to live in if you’re a woman, ranked in ascending order.


19. Spain. Down one spot since 2018, Spain only scored a 5.8 for gender quality and human rights, and an extremely low 1.0 for income equality.

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Women demand equal working rights and an end to violence against women in Spanish society.
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Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

18. Japan. Scoring only a 0.8 for gender quality, Japan made up its score with 10.0 for being “progressive.”

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RichLegg/Getty Images

17. Italy. With average scores on gender equality and human rights, Italy scored poorly for income quality at 1.1

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REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

16. US. A progressive (8.9) country that scores well on gender equality (7.0), the US scored low for safety (1.7) and income equality (1.1).

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Aurelien Meunier / Stringer / Getty Images

15. Ireland. With a human rights score of 7.9 and safety at 7.6, Ireland is still not considered to be a progressive or financially equal country, scoring 4.9 and 3.8 respectively.

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Woman campaigns against Irish abortion laws.
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Reuters

14. France. A gender equality ranking of 8.3 and human rights score of 8.5, brought down by an income equality score of 2.0, gave France 14th place on the list.

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Pixabay/donbalon

13. UK. Gender equality (8.8) and human rights (9.1) were the highlights for the UK, though its income equality score is low at 2.6.

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Leon Neal / Getty

12. Belgium. The country scores highly for gender equality (8.2), human rights (9.0), and safety (8.5), but its income equality score of 4.0 left it in 12th place.

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Terrasse au Vaudeville in Brussels, Belgium.
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Stephane Mignon/Flickr

11. Luxembourg. Scoring 8.8 for safety and mid range scores for gender equality, human rights, and progress, Luxembourg’s income equality still only received a 4.8.

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Barbara Tasch

10. Germany. The first country to hit the top 10, this is one of the most progressive countries on the list with a score of 9.8, but scores between 5 and 8 across income equality, human rights, and gender equality.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

9. New Zealand. The peaceful nation is big on human rights (8.6) and safety (10.0) though still only hit a 5.8 on income equality and 7.3 on gender equality.

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Dmitry Serbin/ Shutterstock

8. Australia. Boasting a comparatively high life expectancy for both females and males, according to the report, Australia was given an 8.3 for gender equality, 8.7 for human rights, but a 4.9 for income equality.

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Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

7. Switzerland. Retaining its spot in 7th place, the Swiss enjoy high scores across the board — gender equality (8.6), human rights (9.2), progress (8.4), safety (10.0), and even an 8.0 for income equality.

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ITU Pictures/Flickr

6. Finland. One of the first countries in the world to grant women the right to vote, Finland is unsurprisingly pretty gender equal at 8.9, and has impressive income equality at 9.6.

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The Art of Pics / Shutterstock

5. Netherlands. With a perfect 10.0 on gender equality and human rights, an income equality score of 6.9 left this Dutch country in 5th place.

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A woman riding her bike in Utrecht.
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Michael Kooren/Reuters

4. Norway. Great scores across the board — particularly a 9.9 on income equality — left Norway just outside the top 3.

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A woman in Team Norway clothing passes along a street near PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
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Getty Images

3. Canada. The third best country in the world for women in 2019, Canada scores a 9 or above on safety, gender equality, and human rights, kept out of the top 2 by an income equality score of 7.5.


2. Denmark. Last year’s top-ranked country is now in second place, with a full 10.0 on income equality and high scores across the board.

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jolly / Shutterstock

1. Sweden. Scores of 10.0 on progress, 9.9 on income equality, 9.8 on human rights, and 9.6 on safety and gender equality make Sweden the best country to live in if you’re a woman in 2019.

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images