A large fraction of individuals consider life in America as quite satisfactory. Yet, a recent ranking system has indicated that inhabitants of some unexpected countries might be experiencing situations relatively better.

HSBC evaluated nine markets and determined the quality of life based on three aspects:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Financial stability

When assessed against these parameters, some markets with significant, dynamic economies — including the U.S. — actually scored below the standard score of 75 out of 100 points.

Conversely, the subsequent nations attained strikingly high grades, all surpassing the U.S. regarding the quality of life even though HSBC classified their economies as emerging markets rather than developed ones.

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HSBC Quality of Life Index: 80 out of 100 points

An Ipsos poll conducted in 2023 revealed that a massive 84% of Indians residing in urban zones identified themselves as “content.” In a summary of the results, Amit Adarkar, CEO of Ipsos India, stated:

“Indians are content due to an array of collective traits that foster harmony in relationships, social recognition, and wellbeing.”

United Arab Emirates

HSBC Quality of Life Index: 80 out of 100 points

How keenly does the United Arab Emirates value happiness? A few years back, the UAE designated a minister of state for happiness. The objective was to transform the nation into “the happiest of all nations.”


HSBC Quality of Life Index: 79 out of 100 points

The Ipsos survey in 2023 found that inhabitants of mainland China — excluding Hong Kong — were the happiest globally.

Zhang Yiwu, a literature professor at Peking University, informed the Global Times that the contentment of Chinese people is grounded in family ties and social connections:

“Even without wealth, one can derive substantial happiness from possessing a happy and warm family, along with many friends as a support source.”


Durango, Victoria de Durango, Mexico colonial and colorful historic city center near central Plaza de Armas and Cathedral Basilica.
HSBC Quality of Life Index: 79 out of 100 points

If Americans seek a tad more joy, they might glance south of the border.

Nicole Fuentes, a happiness specialist, told Blue Zones website:

“The Mexican formula for joy involves an ample measure of social engagement. Plenty of social bonding, talking, laughing, and joking happen here. Families have meals together on Sundays or Saturdays, and these gatherings usually involve grandparents — typically the hosts — sons, daughters, in-laws, grandchildren, cousins, etc.”


HSBC Quality of Life Index: 77 out of 100 points

Malaysians are also renowned for being fairly joyful. Happiness in Malaysia is built upon robust family relationships and a sense of safety within the country, as per a 2022 survey by Malaysia’s Ministry of Economy.

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How did the other places perform?
An older black couple hikes with backpacks as the sun setsMonkey Business
All of the remaining nations included in the HSBC ranking are developed markets — yet all scored below average in terms of quality of life:

United States: 70
United Kingdom: 69
Hong Kong: 68
Singapore: 68