20 Best Countries to Work In

October 23, 2023・5 mins read
20 Best Countries to Work In

Workers are grappling with the challenge of maintaining their comfortable life amid the current cost of living crisis. The cost of living is soaring while salaries remain relatively stable.

Although throughout the United States there have been salary increases in response to the rapid increase in inflation, a gap remains between the cost of living and the majority of employees’ annual incomes.

This prompted us to consider whether the U.S. really is one of the best countries to work in, or if moving overseas would offer better workplace benefits and higher earning potential.

As it turns out, the U.S. finished at the bottom of the list. Reportedly, this was a result of poor workplace benefits compared to most European nations and its high cost of living.

But with all things considered, is there a best country to work in the world? Which are the best countries for workers, the best countries for work opportunities and the countries with the best working conditions? What else should you weigh, and how can you determine which might be the best country to work in for you? Here’s a look at what we’ve discovered.

Top 20 countries to work in

It turns out that for the best work-life balance, Luxembourg is the country to live in. With an average salary of $81,110 and the most generous statutory sick pay policy at 89 weeks on 100% pay, this European economic powerhouse, famed for its award-winning wines, presents the best opportunities for employees to enjoy a comfortable life.

The Netherlands, known for its flat landscape of canals, tulip fields. and extensive cycling routes, emerges as the 2nd best country to work in, regardless of one’s profession. The country finished in the top 3, thanks to its robust statutory sick pay benefits (104 weeks at 70% of salary) and an impressive 80.1% employment rate.

Rounding out the top 3 is Norway, with the lowest standard working hours of any country considered, at only 33.4 hours per week, allowing employees to maximize their free time with family and friends.

In Norway, employees are able to enjoy their time away from work with a generous salary of $84,090, ranking as the 3rd highest average salary in our study.

Key benefits in the top 10 countries

While Bermuda, an island off the U.S. East Coast, has the highest average salary of all countries considered in the ranking at $116,540, it also has the highest cost of living. The Cost Of Living Index gives the British island territory a score of 141.74, making Bermuda, known for its pink sandy beaches, 40% more expensive to live in than New York City.

Switzerland, though failing to make the top 10, is the country with the highest annual salaries for high-ranking positions in a number of professions. High-ranking healthcare professionals can expect to earn an average of $195,465.

Those in the finance sector could bring in $271,360 per annum. Professionals in the education field could earn salaries reaching $234,260.

However, Switzerland missed out on a spot in the top 10f due to poor paternity leave policies and the high cost of living. The country ranked as the 2nd most expensive to live in, ranking behind Bermuda, with the cost of living averaging 10% more than in New York City.

Nevertheless, the U.S. missed the cut, despite having the 6th highest average salary. The U.S. offers fewer workplace benefits compared to many European nations. Coupled with the high cost of living and higher unemployment rates, this placed the U.S. at the bottom of the overall list.

Top 20 countries to work in and their workplace benefits

We hope that the research uncovered helps to highlight the workplace benefits that individual employers can introduce to keep up staff morale and ensure that the U.S. can help retain its talented and diverse workplace!


To conduct this study, our experts looked at the 20 countries with the highest GDP per capita. These countries were ranked based on a number of workplace-related metrics.

To evaluate each country, we considered 9 metrics, which included employment rate, unemployment rate, maternity pay, paternity pay, and statutory sick pay. We also factored in annual leave allowance, standard working hours, average salary, and the cost of living.

Each country received a score from 1 to 20 based on its ranking in each metric, with 20 representing the highest score and 1 the lowest.

Some countries were given the same score if they ranked the same as each other. When data was unavailable, countries were given the minimum score of 1 for that particular ranking.

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