Friday, October 21, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

The Happiest Countries in the World

Happiness is not a phase, it’s a choice. The happiness of a family reflects the happiness of the community which affects the entire country. Marking the happiness of a country is the best way to define the richness of that area and the people. It is a better measure of human welfare than measuring the poverty, government, income, health and education of the particular country.
It is said that people who live in the happier countries are likely to live a longer life, have more social support, experience lesser inequality, and they have the freedom to make their own life choices whichever way they like. The well-being of every nation particularly leads to the well-being of the whole society. However, let us tell you about the happiest countries in the world:

1    Switzerland

Known as the ultimate happiest country according to the surveys, Switzerland is ranked first among the happiest countries of the world. This is due to the strong economy and the health rate particularly. Research has shown that chocolate causes the brain to release dopamine – and no-one does chocolate quite like the Swiss. Also their public transportation is on time, tidy and clean, so  commuting is fairly stress-free.  It’s worth mentioning that Switzerland has one of the lowest obesity rates in Europe which makes people happier and live longer.

2    Iceland

Iceland stands first in security and safety, which is why it is considered a healthy, happy country. However, the economic rate of Iceland has collapsed to a lower level. Here is an essential truth about Icelandic happiness: it is largely a collective enterprise. Starting with their environment, Iceland has one of the most enchanting places all over the globe. They really know how to care for and preserve their natural wonders. As a result, there are so many beautiful places to visit in every part of Iceland. Icelanders reason of happiness isn’t only about their nature being preserved and long paid leave, but the fact that they are consuming healthy foods as well. And, while money can’t buy happiness, it is the country with the sixth highest GDP per capita in the world.

3    Denmark

Surprisingly, Denmark has managed to be ranked first in opportunity and entrepreneurship, which is dependent upon the high level of connectivity and social equality, along with the lowest startup costs.  Denmark is also known for supporting parents. While American women get by with an average maternal leave of 10 or so weeks, Danish families receive a total of 52 weeks of parental leave. Their official website states “Money is not as important as social life here”. Life expectancy from birth factors in, too, by averaging 80 years. In Denmark, gender equality is prioritized which leads to overall happiness.

4    Norway

Norway has repeatedly been ranked in the happiest countries of the world. It has also managed to be named among the richest countries of the world, and is also ranked first in social capital and second in security.  The crime rate in Norway is incredibly low. Both the violent crime rate and the incarceration rate are low.  Nature is appreciated and protected. For example, in Oslo, Norway’s capital, forested hills rise above the city and there’s plenty of green space within the city itself. And finally, Norway’s geography includes 240,000 islands and a coastline that stretches over 64,000 miles.
5    Canada

The Canadians are known as prosperous citizens because of the personal freedom allotted to them by their government. Overall, Canada is a welcoming country, with a high tolerance level for the visitors and immigrants. Canadians are happier than those living in the United States and the United Kingdom. Plus, 80% of all residents say that they enjoy more positive experiences than negative in the average day.  It’s no wonder, then, that Canadians ranks among the happiest in the world.

6    Finland

Finland is identified as a secular society, with only 13% of the nation attending church on a regular basis. However, the country is ranked among the happy countries because of the high level of education and entrepreneurship. Education cost is minimal. Tuition at certain university is free, although students often take out a small loan for living expenses. Its interest rate usually 1 percent. The well-educated Finns are also very friendly. They maintain a strong connection between each other in the society. The Finns like to involve in public services and to help other people. Undoubtedly it maintains a positive atmosphere in the society.

7    Netherlands

Netherlands provides the nation with social cohesion. Plus, the nation enjoys the natural surroundings. Dutch kids, it seems, are just plain happier than children from any other nation (with 95% of Dutch children ranking their own happiness as above average). Dutch women also appear to be living the good life, with the Lowlands ranking among the 5 happiest nations for women on the planet.

8    Sweden

Sweden has dropped down to the eighth position among the happiest countries, but the country is still known for the high level of political participation and social equality. Not to mention the fact that Swedes are good looking, generally healthy, pretty liberal and tolerant, and more self aware than a lot of cultures. When I visited Sweden recently, I noticed that people simply seemed content. Everyone was outside all the time. People just enjoyed the sunshine, walked along the water, exercised and picnicked.

9    New Zealand

The Kiwis have managed to maintain their position among the happy countries due to the literacy rate and the personal freedom afforded the citizens. The country has a high tolerance level for immigrants as well. Working on weekends is unheard of in these countries and their philosophy is that everyone should get to have dinner with their family. They are also very trusting. Several studies document a strong link between trust and happiness, where trust triggers the release of oxytocin, the hormone associated with love, happiness and bonding.

10    Australia

Australia has been pushed down the happiness scale due to some unidentified reasons. However, it has still managed to maintain its position among the world’s happiest countries, because of the efficient government and the booming trade business in natural resources.  Citizens enjoy vast, green public spaces, spending plenty of time with nature. Studies show that spending time with nature increases happiness, memory, learning, mental health and heart health.

This ranking basically tells us the aspects that the other countries need to adopt. Hopefully that gives a bit of insight into the lifestyle in these countries. 

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