RANKED: The 19 best countries to live in 2020 if you're a woman

GettyParticipants at the Women’s March in London.

Denmark is once against the best country for women to live in, swapping the top spot with Sweden in US News & World Report’s latest annual rankings. The Scandinavian country last held the crown in 2018.

The Best Countries for Women ranking was put together following a survey of nearly 9,800 women as part of the media organisation’s wider Best Countries ranking.

The full 2019 Best Countries List surveyed more than 20,000 people from 73 different countries for 65 different attributes grouped into nine categories, including quality of life, adventure, citizenship, and power.

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.

Here are the 19 best countries in the world to live in 2020 if you’re a woman, ranked in ascending order.


19. Up one spot from 2019, Portugal scored just 0.9 for income equality, but 6.5 for safety.

AP Photo / Armando FrancaA demonstrator holds a terrestrial globe in Lisbon during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change on November 29, 2019.

18. Japan was ranked the same as it was in 2019. Income equality was rated at just 1.7, and a low score of 0.7 for gender equality.

REUTERS/Michael CaronnaWomen step off a ferry before walking to Kuzuryu Shrine to pray in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture February 13, 2008.

17. Spain moved up two spots from 2019. While the income equality score was 1.0, gender equality was 5.5.

Susana Vera/ReutersPaloma Granero, a skydiving instructor inside the wind tunnel at Windobona indoor skydiving in Madrid.

16. Italy scored a 6.8 on safety, and 5.5 on gender equality. However, income equality was 1.2.

Alessandro Bianchi/ReutersRosalina Dallago, a former model, poses in Sciuscia Chic, one of three shoeshine shops she owns in Rome.

15. The United States was up one spot from its ranking of 16th in 2019. It scored a 7.1 on gender equality and 8.7 on being progressive, but just 1.5 for safety, and 1.1 for income equality.

Seth Wenig/APMembers of the USWNT ticker tape parade following winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

14. France was ranked the same as it was in 2019. It scored especially well in gender equality and human rights, at 8.2 for each.

AP Photo / Francois MoriWomen sing against French President Emmanuel Macron during a demonstration on January 11, 2020 in Paris.

13. Unchanged overall from 2019, the United Kingdom’s gender equality score declined to 8.5, from 8.8 the year before.

AP Photo / Petros KaradjiasA woman walks along a platform at Green Park underground station in London on December 24, 2019.

12. Although down one spot, Luxembourg’s safety rating improved to 9.1, from 8.8 in 2019. Income equality was also up to 5.5, from 4.8 in 2019.

AP Photo / Virginia MayoA woman casts her vote by putting an envelope in a wooden box at a polling station in Luxembourg.

11. Not only did Germany fall a spot, but its score for being progressive also tumbled, from 9.8 in 2019 to 8.9 in 2020. Gender equality was 7.3.

REUTERS/Eric VidalGermany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts during a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on December 18, 2015.

10. Austria wasn’t ranked in 2019, but this year it scored especially high in safety, at 9.3, and human rights, at 8.5.

REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerMembers of the Wiener Staatsballett (state ballett) perform during the opening ceremony of the Opera Ball in Vienna, February 4, 2016.

9. Australia’s 9.6 safety rating was high, while gender equality was 8.0.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-manFrom left: Australia’s Cate Campbell, Taylor McKeown, Emily Seebohm and Emma McKeon hold their national flag aloft during the medal ceremony for the women’s 4 x 100-metre medley relay final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

8. Like Australia, New Zealand also has a 9.6 safety rating and 8.0 gender equality score. But income equality in New Zealand was higher, at 6.7 compared to Australia’s 5.2.

Orlando Ramirez / USA TODAY SportsNew Zealand players celebrate after a try by Renee Wickliffe (14) against England during the Rugby Super Series final round at Torero Stadium in San Diego, California in July 2019.

7. Switzerland was ranked the same as it was in 2019. Safety was rated as a perfect 10. Human rights was also high, at 9.3.

Ruben Sprich/ReutersSwiss President and Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Doris Leuthard.

6. Finland, whose new government is led by women, scored 9.3 in gender equality. Income equality was a relatively high 8.1, though a decline from 2019’s 9.6.


5. Canada also scored high in gender equality, at 9.3. But income equality declined, from 7.5 in 2019 to 7.3 in 2020.

REUTERS/Mark BlinchRahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family, speaks at the COSTI Corvetti Education Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on January 15, 2019.

4. Norway had a perfect 10 for income equality. Safety was nearly perfect, too, at 9.8. Gender equality was 8.8.

AP Photo / Matt DunhamGirls of the World perform on stage during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.

3. The Netherlands rose two spots from 2019 into the top three. Human rights was a 10, while income equality leaped to 8.1 in 2020, up from 6.9 in 2019.

Paulo Amorim /VW Pics/UIG via Getty ImagesParticipants attend the Pride Walk on July 29, 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

2. Sweden was on top in 2019, but fell to second in 2020. Still, gender equality and human rights rose to 10. Safety was 9.4.

AP Photo / Claude ParisSweden players celebrate with their bronze medals after the Women’s World Cup third place soccer match between England and Sweden at Stade de Nice, in Nice, France in July 2019.

1. Denmark returned to the top spot as the best country to live in if you’re a woman in 2020, a title it last held in 2018. Gender equality was 9.6, safety 9.8, income equality 9.2, progress 7.9, and human rights 9.8.

Roland Magnusson/ShutterstockA woman riding a bike through central Copenhagen.

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