Countries with higher taxes tend to have higher quality of life

Countries with higher taxes tend to have higher quality of life

Nations with higher than average income tax, like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, France, Finland, Belgium, Australia, Luxembourg, Canada, Portugal and Norway, all rate highly in Quality of Life indexes.

What is quality of life?

The level of wealth, comfort, necessities, and material goods available as well as physical and mental wellbeing. Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index, which is considered the most comprehensive, also considers things such as cost of living, health care, pollution and property prices.

Austria doesn’t make CEO World’s top ten, but it does rank seventh in Top 10 Countries* with the Highest Quality of Life, mid-2021 by Numbeo, and Slovenia is still quite high at 15th.

When you look at the three main indexes of quality of life by Numbeo, the UN and CEO World, these countries appear on all three lists:

Countries that appear in the top ten of the 3 major Quality of Life indexes

  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway

Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are also in the top ten for Highest Personal Income Tax Rates and Highest Sales Taxes.

The Ivory Coast has the highest income tax in the world at 60%. It ranks 36 in the world’s most corrupt countries.

There is also a correlation between the happiest countries and the countries that pay higher taxes

Countries with the lowest taxes often have poor human rights


The UAE has a 0% tax rate and, with homosexuality and women wearing revealing clothing both illegal, it routinely ranks near the bottom of many international measures for human rights and press freedom.

Western Sahara

Western Sahara also has 0% tax and is on the Human Rights watchlist with laws restricting individual freedoms.


Brunei is another tax haven where freedom of the press is non-existent and sharia law implements death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality.


Bahrain is another country with no tax. The government denies access to independent rights monitors and the United Nations special procedures, including the special rapporteur on torture. Women who report rape, can find themselves prosecuted for consensual extramarital sex.


Somalia has 0% tax. The parliament recently tabled a that bill would allow for child marriage by defining a child around physical maturity instead of age, reduce penalties for forced marriage, and exclude a broad range of sexual offenses.

However there are some 0% tax countries that don’t have human rights problems such as the Cayman Islands, Monaco and Bermuda.

The US takes the least tax of OECD countries and has the highest rate of child poverty

The United States is near the bottom of the list of countries’ tax revenue as a percentage of GDP. Below it are Mexico, Chile and Turkey.

The United States again leads all nations in having the highest rates of child poverty at 20.9 percent, while the overall average stands at 11.7 percent. Again, we see the Scandinavian countries having the lowest rates of child poverty, with Denmark seeing only 2.9 percent of its children falling into poverty.

Compared to other OECD countries, we find that American poverty is both more prevalent and more extreme.
America’s Poor Are Worse Off Than Elsewhere –

Table 1. Extent of Poverty across 26 OECD Countries

CountryOverallChildrenPoverty Gap
New Zealand10.914.126.2
United Kingdom11.111.835.5
25 country average10.711.729.6
United States17.820.939.8

Source: OECD Data, 2019.


Inequality and Tax Rates: A Global Comparison – Council on Foreign Relations

Living in the world’s lowest income tax countries – CEO Magazine

15 Countries with the Highest Tax Rates in The World in 2022 – Nomad Capitalist

Highest Taxed Countries 2022 – World Population Review

Standard of Living by Country | Quality of Life by Country 2022 – World Population Reiew

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