Of course, it’s hard not to respond to this question: “hmmm anywhere without child labor and a two-day weekend!” After all, not only do we rank among the worst in terms of paid leave for parents or family sickness and have zero mandatory vacation hours, Americans often don’t even take the vacation we’ve got!
Still, not ever other country with a decent economy is better than we are in every way. We have more women in the workforce than most, for instance. That’s why it’s instructive to compare ourselves to other nations and see who does what better, and what policies and attitudes we could emulate.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) makes a study of this sort of thing, ranking countries on quality of life — the “Better Life Index” — based on a number of factors, including work-life balance, safety, health, longevity, and more. So using that series of data as well as other information, the following are some countries that have better work-life balance–either overall, or in individual categories–than we do. And yes, though the Scandinavian countries basically kick everyone else’s ass in this category, we didn’t exclusively highlight them, since there are so many other countries that best us in this area we had the liberty to choose from among them.