Women's Liveability Index 2019


At Nestpick, we’ve seen first-hand the steady increase of women moving abroad for work, life and education opportunities. As a company, we’ve always been fascinated with what makes certain cities or countries better for different demographics. Given the ongoing struggle worldwide for gender equality, we thought it would be interesting to use data and statistics to understand which countries offer the best living conditions for women. Analysing 100 countries worldwide, the Women’s Liveability Index brings attention to those nations offering the best living standards for women.

To conduct the study, we first selected 100 countries around the globe which provide sufficient data and polling resources in order to gain a real understanding of women’s liveability in each place. Data-driven research such as this needs to take into account the lack of reporting in many countries, therefore the final list of countries only includes nations where we felt the data could be confirmed by multiple sources, as outlined in the methodology at the bottom of the study. We then compiled a list of factors that are critical to a woman’s wellbeing, as well as those which are important for society as a whole, which are indicative of overall quality of life.

We determined four important categories which affect women’s lives: Infrastructure, Inequality, Legislation and Work. Within these categories, we looked at basic necessities such as health, safety and education which covers domestic violence rates, female life expectancy and female literacy rate, for example. Inequality includes data on the Gender Wage Gap, female sanitary product tax rates and human trafficking. Legislation looks at divorce laws, days of maternity leave and women’s suffrage. Finally, Women in Work analyses the percentage of women in C-level, governmental and founder positions, and more.

Among other factors, we also calculated the ‘Equal Pay Day’ which is the day from which women essentially work for free until the end of the year due to the Gender Wage Gap. As part of the research, we also polled female journalists from these 100 countries asking how they would rate life for women in their country, as well as which factors are most important to them. Safety, Education and Health were overwhelmingly voted as the most important, so the final weighting of this index has been scored to give Infrastructure more importance in order to reflect this. The final index ranks these 100 countries on how liveable they are for women, with those at the top of the index offering a higher quality of life, and those at the bottom offering a lower quality of life.

Of the many cities where Nestpick offers apartments, some of our more popular countries include Ireland and Italy. Through Nestpick you should not have any trouble finding apartments in Dublin, nor apartments in Milan.

 PopulationWomen in WorkInfrastructureInequalityLegislation Score
RankCountryPopulation% of WomenTotal Score

The 2019 Women’s Liveability Index analyses the living quality and conditions for women in 100 countries around the globe. To select these 100 countries, research focused on gathering a broad selection covering every continent, choosing countries which provided sufficient data and polling resources. Data-driven research such as this needs to take into account the lack of reporting in many countries, therefore the final list of countries only includes those where we felt the data could be confirmed by multiple sources. Finally, the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2018 was consulted to confirm that these 100 countries are comparably both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for women.

Four categories with the following micro-factors were used to analyse each country for their women’s liveability:

Additionally, overall Living Standards were included as the final factor.

Each factor was given a score to determine the overall ranking, excluding Female Sanitary Product Tax Rate, Exemption Type, Equal Pay Day and Year That Women Could Vote which were included as additional information, but do not have any impact on the final ranking.

All data is normalised to a [0-10] scale, with 10 being the best score for women. The formula used is min-max normalisation. For example, a country with a score of 10 for ‘Human Trafficking’ means that the country is very good for women in terms of human trafficking:

Formula used for the weighted average, where n is the number of categories, and i is the i-th factor:



Women in Work

% Government: Percentage of women in government. Average of the subcategories:

% in C-level: % of women in senior and middle management positions. Source: International labour organisation (ILO), Global Gender Gap reports. Latest available data.

No. of Female Entrepreneurs Score: Average of the subcategories (when data available).

% of Professional Female Athletes in Olympics: Number of professional female athletes in the Summer Olympic Games 2016 in Rio. Source: Github.

Women in STEM score. Average of the subcategories:


Safety Score. An average of the subcategories:

Education Score. An average of the subcategories:

Health Score.


Gender Wage Gap. Estimated wage gap. Source: OECD, Eurostat, local reports, World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap report 2018 estimated income gap adjusted to the wage gap data. Latest available data.

Global Gender Gap Index. Out of a total score of 1. The highest possible score is 1 (gender parity) and the lowest possible score is 0 (imparity). Source: World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap report 2018.

Female Sanitary Product Tax Rate. Source: Collected from VAT description tax codes and lists of items that are exempt from the average VAT in the country, latest available data in the English language.

Exemption Type: Indicator if the female sanitary products are given exemption from the normal VAT rate in the country. Some countries have a 0% tax on everything, therefore, sanitary products are marked as ‘no exemption’ in the final table.

Women at Risk of Period Poverty Score. Average of the subcategories:

Human Trafficking Score. A weighted average of subcategories. As human trafficking data depends on the report/catching rate, the study accounts for the inconsistencies in the data and puts more emphasis on the efforts of the country to alleviate this problem.

Equal Pay Day. Wage gap data multiplied by the number of days in the year (365) to calculate which day of the year this number falls on. The date shown is the day from which women essentially work for free until the end of the year, due to the gender wage gap. For some countries where the gender wage gap is negative (due to women earning more than men), the Equal Pay Day shown refers to the following year, i.e., women in Cameroon and Laos where the gap is negative will continue to earn the equivalent of men up until January 21st and 7th respectively of the following year.


Legislation Score. An average of the subcategories:

Abortion Legality. A score according to the conditions during which a woman may have an abortion. 4 - “without giving a reason”, 3 - “on socioeconomic grounds”, 2 - “to preserve health”, 1 - “to save a woman’s life or in case of rape”, 0 - “prohibited in all cases”. Sources: World Abortion Laws, OECD, latest available data.

Length of Maternity Leave in Days. Length of Maternity and Paternity Leave in Days. Length of paid maternity and paternity leave possible. Sources: world policy center, OECD, latest available year.

Paternity leave included as in addition to the importance of maternity leave, generous paternity leave is indicative of a progressive and balanced society.

Year that Women Could Vote. Year when women gained full voting rights. Source: various local and governmental sources. Latest available data.

Additional Factors

Living Standard. An average of the subcategories:

Poll. Online poll sent to female journalists in all countries. Received answers February 2019. Respondees were asked to pick the three most important factors that have the biggest impact on whether a country is good or bad for a woman. Safety, Education and Health overwhelmingly voted as most important, therefore the ‘Infrastructure’ category weighting reflects this insight, meaning it has more impact on the overall rank than the other categories.