The UK passport is the fourth-most attractive in the world for quality of life in 2024, according to data-driven analysis by the immigration consultancy Global Citizen Solutions.
Ranking behind only Finland, Sweden, and Denmark in the Global Citizen Solutions Quality of Life Index, the UK has a total score of 83.6. This rating is calculated based on its scores of “very high” in the happiness, freedom, environmental performance, and sustainable development categories.
Another positive factor is its “high” score for migrant acceptance, making the country an appealing option for individuals and families who are exploring international relocation opportunities.
The methodology behind the Quality of Life Index
“Our methodology considers factors beyond visa-free travel, taking into account healthcare, safety, education, and overall well-being, to provide a holistic view of the opportunities each passport opens up for its holder,” says Patricia Casaburi, Managing Director of Global Citizen Solutions.
“The Quality of Life index is our free tool that encourages users to explore the boundless possibilities that a passport can offer if you are looking to relocate.”
The methodology for the index was created by Global Citizen Solutions’ research team, led by statistic and data analysts Dr. Roberto de Pinho and Vladimir López-Bassols.
The index analyzes quantitative data such as composite indicators used by leading international institutions and multilateral organizations including The World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and the Sustainable Development Report.
How the UK enables happiness and ensures freedom
In terms of happiness, the UK’s strong performance in the index is supported by its robust welfare system, which includes affordable access to high-quality healthcare, healthy social support networks, relatively high levels of trust among the public, a high volunteer rate compared to the global average, and generally high rankings for healthy life expectancy.
The nation also has a wealth of green spaces, cultural activities and historical sites, which studies demonstrate can have positive impacts on mental wellbeing.
With a robust legal framework that includes strong protection for civil liberties, political rights, and freedom of expression as well as a vibrant democracy with regular free and fair elections, independent judiciary, and multi-party system, the UK is a nation with a high level of freedom.
What explains the UK’s strong sustainability and environmentalism performance?
The UK’s high sustainability and environmental rankings stem from ambitious goals such as net zero ambitions, renewable energy leadership, strong waste management policies, a green finance hub, and an engaged civil society.
The UK’s strong policy framework and action on key issues such as climate change contribute to its positive international standing in this domain.
Finally, a key factor for those interested in relocation, the high rating for migrant acceptance is encouraging. This is underpinned by well-developed anti-discrimination laws and universal access to the nation’s healthcare and welfare systems.
Cost of living considerations
For those wishing to relocate to the UK, it’s worth noting that its relatively expensive consumer goods, groceries, restaurants, and transportation put the country in the index’s “high” cost of living category.
Similarly, the top three-ranking countries in the index — Denmark (third), Sweden (second), and Finland (first) — are among the priciest 20 percent of places on the planet to call home.
What links the top-ranking countries?
Renowned for their Hygge lifestyle, centered on the concepts of comfort and simplicity, these Scandinavian nations also provide an outstanding quality of life for their citizens.
Significantly, there are notable common cultural and political threads that link these countries with the UK. For example, all four gradually transitioned from feudalistic systems to parliamentary democracies. In the process, they prioritized building and maintaining democratic institutions that ensure the rule of law is upheld and guarantee civil liberties.
Additionally, with firm and long-standing commitments to social welfare, these countries provide safety nets and security for their citizens. Naturally, factors such as these make their passports among the most desirable worldwide — providing their holders with a strong sense of well-being.
“We believe that a passport is not merely a document,” Casaburi says. “It is a vessel of potential, a gateway to a life well-lived.”