Single Women Liveability Index

Single Women Liveability Index

The best countries for single women to live

Relocating abroad can be daunting as a woman living alone, and it can be difficult to know which countries are best for your budget and lifestyle.

It’s easy to overlook how different some things are in other countries. From restaurant menus to bank accounts and securing home loans, it’s essential to consider the details of living alone as a woman.

To take the guesswork out of your decision, we compiled a list of every country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Ranking each destination based on living costs, safety and women’s rights, we found the best countries for women to live.

The best countries for single women

The best countries for single women

1. Denmark | Single Women Liveability Score: 6.80/10

Denmark is the ideal location for women living alone, known worldwide for its breath-taking views and the Hygge lifestyle. Boasting seven UNESCO world heritage sites, Denmark’s stunning beauty is undeniable, and the country is almost fully surrounded by gorgeous coastlines.
Denmark is also one of the safest countries that we looked at. With a safety index of 73.5 out of 100, the rate of serious and violent crimes in the nation is lower than in most. This may explain why Denmark is one of the happiest countries on our list; Danish respondents to the World Happiness Report’s survey rated their happiness as 7.515 out of 10.
The average cost of an apartment in Denmark is US$1,322 per month and the monthly cost of living is similarly high. Despite this, the average annual wage in Denmark is also greater than in most countries, at US$68,336 per year.

2. Iceland | Single Women Liveability Score: 6.77/10

Iceland is one of the best countries for single women to live, home to a long history of women in politics and countless spots of natural beauty.
In the current global climate, with many women feeling afraid to walk alone at night, safety is a primary concern when choosing a destination to live. As one of the safest countries we looked at (the safest country, in fact, in our top three), Iceland has a safety index of 76.59 out of 100. The safety index of the nation indicates how often residents experience crime, based on user-submitted information online from Icelandic citizens.
Although the average cost of an apartment in Iceland is one of the highest on our list (at US$1,642 per month for rent), earning potential is equally high, with the average salary in Iceland at US$84,636 a year. Iceland also has a happiness score of 7.575 out of 10 and an average of 584 things to do per 100,000 people, meaning there’s plenty of ways for single women to keep busy.

3. Estonia | Single Women Liveability Score: 6.73/10

Home to historic sites, rich culture and medieval cities, Estonia is one of the best countries in the OECD for single women to live.
Estonia has a safety index of 76.02 out of 100, according to local residents, making it one of the safest countries we looked at. For single women, a low rate of serious and violent crime can indicate the presence of laws and protections for vulnerable citizens.
Women in Estonia gained the right to vote in 1917, earlier than in most nations we looked at. With 157 activities in Estonia per 100,000 people, there are also plenty of things to do and attractions to see for women living alone.

The worst countries for single women

The worst countries for single women

1. Mexico | Single Women Liveability Score: 2.68/10

Known worldwide for its sun, beaches and blue oceans, Mexico is a destination for relocating women, receiving thousands of visitors every year.
Ranking as the worst country on our list for women to live in, Mexico has the lowest average annual wage at US$8,858 per person. Although the low cost of living correlates with low average salaries, Mexico also has one of the lowest safety ratings, at 46.27 out of 100.

2. Chile | Single Women Liveability Score: 2.9/10

Chile is usually considered one of the best places on the planet for nature and wildlife, home to Chilean Patagonia, deserts, glaciers and forests. Despite attracting multitudes of visitors for its natural beauty, Chile is one of the worst places we found for single women to live.
Chile’s safety index is the lowest on our list, at 45.29 out of 100. While residents in the country benefit from low rental and living costs, there are just 34 attractions and one bar for every 100,000 people.

3. South Korea | Single Women Liveability Score: 3.01/10

South Korea offers stunning scenery and delicious cuisine, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the top-visited countries on our list. However, for single women’s liveability, it scores lower than most nations we looked at.
South Korea was one of the last OECD nations to legalise women’s suffrage, in 1948. According to the World Happiness Report, South Korea’s happiness score is 5.793 out of 10, which is one of the lowest scores compared to the other nations on our list.

Switzerland, the safest country in the world for women

The safest country in the world for women | Switzerland: Safety Index: 78.14/100

The safest country in the OECD is Switzerland, which has a safety rating of 78.14 out of 100. Based on information from Swiss residents, the country’s safety index reflects the low rate of reported serious and violent crimes in the nation.

Latvia, the country with the cheapest apartment cost

The country with the cheapest apartment cost | Latvia: US$462 per month

Rent prices can put a dent in your budget as a woman living alone, so we looked at the monthly apartment cost in each country. The average cost of rent in Latvia is just US$462 per month, lower than any other country we looked at.

Mexico, the country with the cheapest cost of living

The country with the cheapest cost of living | Mexico: US$468 per month

For women travelling alone, budgeting is essential, and a country with a low cost of living can help you save for lifestyle things like event tickets and exploring. Out of all the countries on our list, Mexico has the cheapest cost of living. The estimated monthly expenses of a single person total up to around US$468. Despite the low cost of living, the average annual wage of residents in the country is lower than most, at US$8,858.

Switzerland, the highest average wage for women

The highest average wage for women | Switzerland: US$94,547

Switzerland is often named one of the wealthiest countries, and so Swiss residents unsurprisingly have the highest average salary out of all the countries we looked at. For women living alone, higher earning potential can help to indicate a higher possible income, and studies show that a higher salary can lead to increased happiness, financial stability and wellbeing.

Ireland, the country with the most bars and clubs

The country with the most bars and clubs | Ireland: 27.3 per 100,000 people

Ireland has the most bars and clubs by population out of all the OECD countries on our list. With 27.3 bars and clubs for every 100,000 people, it’s therefore unsurprising that this country is renowned globally for its unrivalled nightlife scene.

Iceland, the country with the most things to do

The country with the most things to do | Iceland: 584 per 100,000 people

The best country on our list for sightseeing is Iceland, known worldwide for its breathtaking natural beauty. In Iceland, there are 584 attractions per 100,000 of the population, including the black sand beach Reynisdrangar and the Selfoss Geyser. For women who love hiking, walking and the outdoors, Iceland is the ideal destination.

New Zealand, the first country to give women the right to vote

The first country to give women the right to vote | New Zealand: 1893

In 1893, the New Zealand government passed the Electoral Act which granted all women the right to vote for the first time. New Zealand has a long history of women’s involvement in politics, and today there are more female voters than male.

Finland, the happiest country

The happiest country | Finland: 7.889/10 happiness score

Finland has been named the happiest country in the world for the past four consecutive years by The World Happiness Report, so no wonder it’s the happiest country we looked at. For women, happiness rankings indicate increased freedom to make life choices, high quality of living and quality of social support.

The best and worst countries for single women

Methodology

We wanted to find the best countries for single women by analysing every country in the OECD using the factors listed below. Each country was given a normalised score out of 10 for each factor before taking an average across all factors. Countries for which these factors were unavailable were removed.

  • Safety index: All information was sourced from Numbeo and is accurate as of 22/02/2022.
  • Apartment costs: The average cost of rent for a single bedroom apartment in the city centre, a single bedroom apartment outside the city centre, a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre and a three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre was sourced from Numbeo and is accurate as of 04/03/2022.
  • Monthly cost of living: The average amount for a single person’s estimated monthly costs in each country was sourced from Numbeo and is accurate as of 22/02/2022.
  • Average annual wage: The average annual wage for workers in 2020 in each country was sourced from Stats.
  • Number of bars and clubs (per 100,000): The total number of bars and clubs in each country was sourced from Tripadvisor and is accurate as of 21/02/2022, and the rate per 100,000 people was calculated using population information from City Population.
  • Number of things to do (per 100,000): The total number of things to do in each country was sourced from Tripadvisor and is accurate as of 21/02/2022, and the rate per 100,000 people was calculated using population information from City Population.
  • Year of women’s suffrage: The latest year that all women gained equal voting rights to men was sourced from NZ History, and where unavailable from Historic-Newspapers Wikipedia.
  • Happiness score: The happiness score for each country was sourced from the World Happiness Report. Where available, the score for 2021 was used and if unavailable, the average happiness score from 2018-2020 was taken.

All exchange rates were sourced from XE and are accurate as of 22/02/2022.

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