The Happiest Countries In The World - Placeaholic

The Happiest Countries In The World

Each year, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Happiness by publishing a comprehensive list of the happiest countries in the world. See how your country ranked in the list below.

Don't worry, be happy!
Don’t worry, be happy!

Honouring the International Day of Happiness, today 20th of March, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network has published this years’s (2016) World Happiness Index, a study showcasing the connections between happiness and development for each country. The top is made after a thorough research of six areas for each country: GDP per capita, life expectancy, trust, social support, perceived freedom to make life decisions and generosity. The seventh and last factor in compiling the World Happiness Report is a questionnaire asking people to rate their quality of life on a scale from 0 to 10.

Browsing the top 10, you’ll notice how most of the countries have some of the most beautiful and breathtaking nature scenery in the world besides their inhabitants contentment.

We’ll list the top 10 happiest countries backwards, counting down from 10 to the first place, followed by the full 157 happiest nations top. As a citizen of a nation present in this top, what do you make of it, do you consider it accurate? Would love to hear your comments on this.

10. Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden. The capital city spreads out over 14 islands.
Stockholm, Sweden. The capital city spreads out over 14 islands.

Compared to last year’s ratings, Sweden dropped 2 places. You might have visited it and enjoyed it, but still, 10th place is really high, right? Well one of the reasons is their recent six-hour work day law, yep, 6 hours folks, that’s how long a workday is in Sweden. Also, as an employee, you get paid maternity And paternity leave and free day care. Only in Sweden, folks!

9. Australia

Among many other attactions, Australia's aquatic experiences are pure bliss. Pictured above: Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island, Queensland
Among many other attractions, Australia’s aquatic experiences are pure bliss. Pictured above: Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island, Queensland

Australia scored big on a strong work-life balance plus some of the lowest stress levels in the world. Also, Australians have one of the highest life expectancies in the world, 83 years. Their education system puts a great accent on physical activity, a model that should be “stolen” by other countries too! So the next time someone says no to Australia because of their “way too high” number of venomous animals, do show them this.

8. New Zealand

New Zealand's tourism only has one problem according to recent reports: it grows too quickly. Pretty obvious why!
New Zealand’s tourism only has one problem according to recent reports: it grows too quickly. Pretty obvious why!

It seems there’s a lot of competition Down Under, New Zealand constantly challenging Australia, and this year’s no exception. New Zealanders scored the highest on social support – always having someone to count on during rough times leads to happiness, no doubt. Of course, their country can easily be amongst the top 10 most beautiful countries in the world, and that counts too in the happiness report.

7. Netherlands

Amsterdam, the capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There's much more you can do in Amsterdam than smoke funny stuff in their "Coffee shops"! You can eat brownies too!
Amsterdam, the capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There’s much more you can do in Amsterdam than smoke funny stuff in their “Coffee shops”! You can eat brownies too!

Besides hitting the 7th places for happiness, the Dutch ranked the highest in standard deviation of happiness. No worries, I’ll translate: the least difference in satisfaction between the least happy and the happiest people in the Netherlands. Tulip to that, fellow Dutch people!

6. Canada

Vancouver, Canada. While European public remains generally confined to the east coast of Canada, Vancouver is an amazing city to discover when you take the time to get involved. Note that the pace of life is much more relaxed!
Vancouver, Canada. While European public remains generally confined to the east coast of Canada, Vancouver is an amazing city to discover when you take the time to get involved. Note that the pace of life is much more relaxed!

So, Americans, what’s it going to be on these elections, Trump, or moving to Canada? There are lots of reasons to start packing and Trump’s not really one of them. Canada is the single country from the American continent to hit top 10. Pay it a visit, you’ll understand why.

5. Finland

Finland. Not always covered in snow, but when it is, it sure is Santas home - Lapland is in Finland
Finland. Not always covered in snow, but when it is, it sure is Santas home – Lapland is in Finland

Education, education, education! You might as well say it a few more times, ’cause that is the foundation of a happy and healthy society, and Fins surely know how to do it. Add the fact that the government will fund you after graduating until you can make a living on your own, and you can easily see why Finland hit the 5th place.

4. Norway

Norway is a fantastic place for wanderlusters, with stunning views from every corner.
Norway is a fantastic place for wanderlusters, with stunning views from every corner.

Norway has the highest GDP per capita on the first 10 in this top. GDP per capita is the gross domestic product divided by the midyear population and what it actually means is that Norwegians are rich. This is not really an easy task for a government to accomplish as it must perfectly blend a growing economy, great management, social support, trust and well-being.

3. Iceland

Iceland, welcome to another planet!
Iceland, welcome to another planet!

You might have heard of Iceland’s financial collapse in the last few years, and that’s one of the reasons the The World Happiness Report covers Iceland more than it does on other countries. Their secret? When the 2007 financial collapse hit them, Icelanders reported having a support system of friends and family to rely on. Caring for one another is a great factor in happiness, isn’t it? Have we mentioned exploring Iceland feels like stepping into another world?

2. Switzerland

Switzerland. Also known as Breathtakingland or Peacefulland.
Switzerland. Also known as Breathtakingland or Peacefulland.

Switzerland’s direct democracy system makes it the number one country where citizens feel like really taking part in its evolution. Simply put, both on a local and country-wise scale, almost every decision is voted on, referendums being part of the Swiss people’s lives more than anywhere else in the world.

1. Denmark

Copenhagen, the capital city of the world's happiest country - Denmark
Copenhagen, the capital city of the world’s happiest country – Denmark

Go North folks! Northern Europe preferably, there’s where 6 of the top 10 countries are located, including world’s happiest country: Denmark.

Sure, it hit the top spot this year because it scored great in all the metrics discussed. But Denmark isn’t just getting good grades, the Danes have a system and it seems it’s the best on this planet, always hitting the top 10 on this list during the previous years.

The Danish people have a high life expectancy, a high income and great education. And it doesn’t stop there, always thinking about the place you live in, caring for the nature, investing in renewable energy and respecting everything that surrounds you – concerns that should be on each of our desks, wherever we’re living.

To better understand how Denmark got there and how it stayed there, we’re ending with a quote from Christian Bjornskov, Professor of Economics at Aarhus Business School:

The great thing about Danish society is that it doesn’t judge other people’s lives. It allows them to choose the kind of life they want to live, which is sometimes not always possible in other countries, so this helps add to the overall satisfaction of people living here.

It also seems the Danes attitude towards money is just different from other countries:

Money is not as important in the social life here, as for example Britain and America. We probably spend our money differently here. We don’t buy big houses or big cars, we like to spend our money on socialising with others.Christian Bjornskov, Professor of Economics


Here are the rest of the countries in this top: (score)

11. Israel (7.267)
12. Austria (7.119)
13. United States (7.104)
14. Costa Rica (7.087)
15. Puerto Rico (7.039)
16. Germany (6.994)
17. Brazil (6.952)
18. Belgium (6.929)
19. Ireland (6.907)
20. Luxembourg (6.871)
21. Mexico (6.778)
22. Singapore (6.739)
23. United Kingdom (6.725)
24. Chile (6.705)
25. Panama (6.701)
26. Argentina (6.650)
27. Czech Republic (6.596)
28. United Arab Emirates (6.573)
29. Uruguay (6.545)
30. Malta (6.488)
31. Colombia (6.481)
32. France (6.478)
33. Thailand (6.474)
34. Saudi Arabia (6.379)
35. Taiwan (6.379)
36. Qatar (6.375)
37. Spain (6.361)
38. Algeria (6.355)
39. Guatemala (6.324)
40. Suriname (6.269)
41. Kuwait (6.239)
42. Bahrain (6.218)
43. Trinidad and Tobago (6.168)
44. Venezuela (6.084)
45. Slovakia (6.078)
46. El Salvador (6.068)
47. Malaysia (6.005)
48. Nicaragua (5.992)
49. Uzbekistan (5.987)
50. Italy (5.977)
51. Ecuador (5.976)
52. Belize (5.956)
53. Japan (5.921)
54. Kazakhstan (5.919)
55. Moldova (5.897)
56. Russia (5.856)
57. Poland (5.835)
58. South Korea (5.835)
59. Bolivia (5.822)
60. Lithuania (5.813)
61. Belarus (5.802)
62. North Cyprus (5.771)
63. Slovenia (5.768)
64. Peru (5.743)
65. Turkmenistan (5.658)
66. Mauritius (5.648)
67. Libya (5.615)
68. Latvia (5.560)
69. Cyprus (5.546)
70. Paraguay (5.538)
71. Romania (5.528)
72. Estonia (5.517)
73. Jamaica (5.510)
74. Croatia (5.488)
75. Hong Kong (5.458)
76. Somalia (5.440)
77. Kosovo (5.401)
78. Turkey (5.389)
79. Indonesia (5.314)
80. Jordan (5.303)
81. Azerbaijan (5.291)
82. Philippines (5.279)
83. China (5.245)
84. Bhutan (5.196)
85. Kyrgyzstan (5.185)
86. Serbia (5.177)
87. Bosnia and Herzegovina (5.163)
88. Montenegro (5.161)
89. Dominican Republic (5.155)
90. Morocco (5.151)
91. Hungary (5.145)
92. Pakistan (5.132)
93. Lebanon (5.129)
94. Portugal (5.123)
95. Macedonia (5.121)
96. Vietnam (5.061)
97. Somaliland region (5.057)
98. Tunisia (5.045)
99. Greece (5.033)
100. Tajikistan (4.996)
101. Mongolia (4.907)
102. Laos (4.876)
103. Nigeria (4.875)
104. Honduras (4.871)
105. Iran (4.813)
106.Zambia (4.795)
107. Nepal (4.793)
108. Palestinian Territories (4.754)
109.Albania (4.655)
110. Bangladesh (4.643)
111. Sierra Leone (4.635)
112. Iraq (4.575)
113. Namibia (4.574)
114. Cameroon (4.513)
115. Ethiopia (4.508)
116. South Africa (4.459)
117. Sri Lanka (4.415)
118. India (4.404)
119. Myanmar (4.395)
120. Egypt (4.362)
121. Armenia (4.360)
122. Kenya (4.356)
123. Ukraine (4.324)
124. Ghana (4.276)
125. Congo (Kinshasa) (4.272)
126. Georgia (4.252)
127. Congo (Brazzaville) (4.236)
128. Senegal (4.219)
129. Bulgaria (4.217)
130. Mauritania (4.201)
131. Zimbabwe (4.193)
132. Malawi (4.156)
133. Sudan (4.139)
134. Gabon (4.121)
135. Mali (4.073)
136. Haiti (4.028)
137. Botswana (3.974)
138. Comoros (3.956)
139. Ivory Coast (3.916)
140. Cambodia (3.907)
141. Angola (3.866)
142. Niger (3.856)
143. South Sudan (3.832)
144. Chad (3.763)
145. Burkina Faso (3.739)
146. Uganda (3.739)
147. Yemen (3.724)
148. Madagascar (3.695)
149. Tanzania (3.666)
150. Liberia (3.622)
151. Guinea (3.607)
152. Rwanda (3.515)
153. Benin (3.484)
154. Afghanistan (3.360)
155. Togo (3.303)
156. Syria (3.069)
157. Burundi (2.905)

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