What value is most important to people in each country?


What Matters Most to People Around the World

Have you ever wondered how each country contributes to forming your beliefs about what’s important in life? More than 80,000 people from around the world expressed their opinions on what they value most in life and this infographic map shows their No.1 priorities in almost every country in the world.




The data above has been collected on a continuous basis by OECD Better Life Index since 2011. To date there are over 60,000 responses from over 180 countries.

Interestingly, most developed nations, including USA, Canada, Western and Central European as well as Nordic countries tend to value life satisfaction and health most, countries that on the happy planet index did not rate quite as high as those in Central and South America. Why do you think is this?

South America, on the other hand is the continent where education is by far the top priority in life. Is it the low disposable income that encourages people to view education as means of succeeding in life, is it cultural or maybe is it something else?

In Europe, the vast majority of countries value life satisfaction and health most. It’s quite interesting that people from countries that are placed close to each other tend to have the same priorities. In fact, only a few Eastern European countries have different priorities compared to the rest. Only Slovenia and Georgia put the environment as their top priority on the list. Romania is the only country that values education more than anything else and Albania and Ukraine consider income to be most important. Moldova is also the only country to consider jobs most important.

Surprisingly, Monaco residents are primarily concerned with their safety, as are the respondents from United Arab Emirates and Japan. Australia is perhaps one of the very few developed nations that puts the work-life balance as their top priority.

There may be quite a number of patterns to explore in this map and a number of explanations for why people from different countries pursue different things. Why do people from different countries have different priorities?


Si vous avez trouvé une faute d’orthographe, faites le nous savoir en sélectionnant ce texte et en appuyant sur Ctrl+Entrée.

9 replies
  1. Effe Bense
    Effe Bense says:

    What is life satisfaction for those Nordic/ US countries? A fat car? A big house? have a huge TV? To live in a nice neighbourghood and ….?

    They value money and possession more than they value life , inner life and real life.

    They suffer from material and status addiction and are so empty spiritually.
    I’m afraid there are Dead men walking, they just are not aware of it.

    • Karla
      Karla says:

      Someones triggered here… I can´t speak for all of us but I (Finnish girl) think of life satisfaction as being able to do things I enjoy (culture, friends, nature etc) as my basic needs are fulfilled. But personally I value health most of the core values mentioned here. It´s good to remember that these core values don´t tell anything about one individual. Only the possibility of what she might value the most based on where she lives. But summing it up. Really interesting reading!

  2. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Interesting graphic, however, wouldn’t it be more illustrative, especially on the region maps, to have the other priorities indicated as well? Perhaps “life satisfaction” ranks as number one by a large margin in one country, but narrowly beats the second highest priority in another.

    • Anton Malafeev
      Anton Malafeev says:

      For sure that would be quite more explicit and interesting. But at the same time, one could say, the fulness of data kills the simplicity of infographic. So it is just another simplistically international/intercultural presentation giving “just another” opportunity to see things in another way – New Point de View …

      Of course, full data must be much more full and complicated, I guess

    • Anton Malafeev
      Anton Malafeev says:

      I don’t think so. But we don’t know the real conditions of this interview/poll. And how results were treated.
      I guess that small countries that are not very popular have not been questioned as much as big and popular ones.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *