Victoria 3: How to Increase the Standard of Living

Satisfying the needs of population is a lot of work. If you want to know how to increase the standard of living in Victoria 3, then follow our guide right here.

The standard of living of those under your rule is one of the most important elements of economy in Victoria 3. It not only reflects the overall demographic levels of birth and death rates, but also influences the loyalty of your population. Thus, improving your population's standard of living is extremely important.

Our guide will provide you with tips on how to increase standard of living in Victoria 3. You will need to take into account the needs of your population and make them as affordable as possible.

What is Standard of Living?

Standard of living determines your population's life conditions. This mainly refers to the overall wealth of the population, which is based on its needs that must be satisfied weekly.

Your population's income must be sufficient enough to satisfy those needs while growing their own wealth. Once this is achieved, the standard of living will grow on its own.

You need to satisfy both basic and luxury needs of their populace to improve their standard of living. Basic needs are more important, as they constitute whether the nation will exist or not in the first place.

If you succeed in growing your standard of living, then you will be rewarded with the following benefits:

  • Population growth rates will increase.
  • State loyalists will overwhelm radicals.
  • State will attract migration, thus further increasing your population.

Various nations have different needs, but below you will find tips that are generally accepted by all nations in Victoria 3.

Satisfy Population's Basic Needs

Simple Clothing

The first and most basic need that must be satisfied in Victoria 3 is simple clothing, which includes:

  • Fabric.
  • Clothes.

Fabric can be produced with the help of Cotton Fields, and then clothes become available automatically. Fabric can also be purchased for 20 Money on the goods market.

The satisfaction of this basic need may increase the standard of living from Level 1 to Level 14.

Basic Food

The population of any country also needs to be fed, using the following basic food items:

  • Grain.
  • Fish.
  • Meat.
  • Fruit.
  • Groceries.

Note that basic foods like grain and meat can be substituted for one another. If it's more profitable to purchase grain than meat, then do so, and if later buying meat becomes more accessible, then switch to meat. Your population will be satisfied either way.

Satisfying basic food needs can increase the standard of living from Level 1 to level 29.


Heating resources don't count only for cold periods of time, but are also necessary during warm seasons for other reasons. These include:

  • Wood.
  • Coal.
  • Oil.
  • Electricity.

It is better to produce these materials on your own, as later you can also export them, gaining some huge profits.

The best way to start is to develop Coal Mines, which can be found in the "Production Lines" menu under the "Resources" tab. Another reason why coal is essential is that it will sustain your power stations that generate electricity.

There is no limit regarding the standard of living in this category, the more the better.


It won't take long to figure out that alcohol and tobacco are in great demand amongst populace, which is why you will have to satisfy it as well. The best intoxicants are:

  • Liquor.
  • Tobacco.
  • Opium.

Players also need to be very careful here, as too much intoxicants can lead to addiction amongst populace, which in its turn will work against you and the standard of living. Thus, do not satisfy more than 60% of your population's demand of intoxicants.


Although it isn't as necessary as clothes and food, furniture has many benefits.

If you already have a steady production of fabric and wood, then setting up a couple of Furniture Factories would be the next logical step of pleasing your population.

It is recommended to begin furniture production no sooner than Level 5.

Household Items

Besides furniture, you can use other household items to further increase the standard of living of their population. The two most in-demand household items are:

  • Glass.
  • Paper.

Note that glass and paper can be substitutes for furniture, so the more Furniture Factories you build, the lesser demand for glass and paper you will see.

Purchasing or producing glass and paper industries can increase your standard of living from Level 10 to Level 44.


It may seem strange at first, but in Victoria 3 Services are categorized as "Intangible Goods", meaning that although they can be traded, this can be done only on the local markets.

Although Services have no specific divisions, such as Transportation for example, but they can be an excellent substitute for Free Movement, Communication, and even Art.

It is recommended to invest money into Services as soon as Level 10.

Satisfy Population's Luxury Needs

Luxury Drinks

If you put effort into satisfying basic needs of the populace, then it would be sufficient enough to develop a very high standard of living. But if you have good profits, then you can continue investing into luxury drinks, including:

  • Tea.
  • Coffee.
  • Wine.

The way to do this is to colonize other territories, and in this case Africa is the best for setting up tea and coffee plantations. These will be extremely cheap and your population will be highly satisfied, quickly increasing your standard of living.

Free Movement

When you have a number of high yield factories and plantations, you need to start thinking about increasing your export capabilities. For this reason, your next steps should include:

  • Transportation.
  • Automobiles.

Transportation will allow you to strengthen your Supply Network and Shipping Lanes. Trade routes will allow you to maintain entire markets of goods, increasing the volume of transported items, which will result in massive profits.

You can start developing Free Movement already at Level 15.

Luxury Items

At this point the needs of the population will grow significantly, and that's where luxury items must be purchased, such as:

  • Luxury Clothes.
  • Luxury Furniture.
  • Porcelain.
  • Radios.

Note that none of these items should be overwhelming, but need to constitute no more than 40% of overall items of the population.

If there is an oversaturation of these items on the market, then you should be able to control it by applying Authority and Taxing population's luxury items and services.

Use the taxed money to build more factories that provide basic needs. In this way the population will be both satisfied and controlled.


Once your technological development is sufficient enough, and you wish to get into some serious warfare, then purchasing Telephones is a must.

Such investment into Communication services should begin no sooner than Level 20.


Sugar is just as important as tea, coffee, or wine, but it should not be rushed into development. Sort this industry out only after your Colonialism laws are well developed.

The best source of sugar is the African continent, and the best farming sources for high sugar yields are sugar cane farms, sugar beet farms, and fig farms.

In order to both sustain the demand for sugar of your populace and make money on it, build Government Administration, develop Bureaucracy, and then you can swiftly export sugar for high profits.

Fine Art

Art is the final stage of any nation's development in Victoria 3. Once all other needs of the population have been thoroughly satisfied, the question of preserving nation's prestige become evident. The best way to do this is to open the Arts Academy.

This venture should be initiated no sooner than Level 30. Once you reach Level 40 in your standard of living, your population will show less and less demand for things. But you can always go further, depending on your economic situation.

Related guides

That's all you need to know on how to increase standard of living in Victoria 3. For more Victoria 3 tips and tricks articles, please visit our dedicated hub page.


Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin.

Games Victoria 3 Genres Strategy Platforms PC Tags victoria 3 guides
Published Oct. 31st 2022

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