When we think about our ideal places to live, we often consider factors such as economic stability, quality of healthcare, and the cultural scene. The Legatum Institute Prosperity Index ranks the happiest countries according to their financial stability, including government welfare programs, career opportunities, education and healthcare, while the Gallup poll insists that people are happy because of their culture and lifestyle. The scores rank 10 countries as the happiest in the world. But one often overlooked factor is the happiness of a nation’s inhabitants. Which countries rank highest for contentment and joy? Let’s explore the top 10 happiest countries according to global studies and find out what sets them apart.
Canals, tulips, and bikes are just the surface of what makes the Netherlands a happy country. A progressive approach to societal issues, along with high-quality healthcare and education systems, provide Dutch citizens with an elevated sense of life satisfaction.
Switzerland isn’t just about chocolates and watches. Its scenic landscapes, low crime rates, and excellent public services ensure that its inhabitants lead a contented life. High employment rates coupled with extensive outdoor recreational activities boost the happiness quotient in this Alpine nation.
With a small population and a strong sense of community, Iceland offers its residents a unique blend of natural beauty and societal harmony. Their strong emphasis on gender equality and their sustainable use of geothermal energy make Iceland an exemplary nation in promoting holistic well-being.
Canada’s vast landscapes, from its bustling cities to the serene Rockies, cater to all lifestyles. Its multicultural fabric ensures inclusivity, and policies that focus on healthcare, education, and social welfare play a significant role in its citizens’ happiness.
Australia, known as “The Land Down Under”, is more than just kangaroos and the iconic Sydney Opera House. A vast continent with diverse landscapes, Australia offers its residents a unique mix of urban hustle, coastal relaxation, and outback adventures.
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5. New Zealand
New Zealand’s residents not only enjoy the country’s breathtaking landscapes, but they also benefit from a strong sense of community and kinship. The Maori concept of “Whānau” (extended family) speaks volumes about the country’s emphasis on relationships and mutual care.
Fika (a break for coffee and cake) is an institution in Sweden, symbolizing the country’s commitment to relaxation and personal time. Sweden’s policies on parental leave, education, and health have paved the way for a society that values both individual and collective well-being.
Denmark, known for its cycling culture, world-class education, and the concept of hygge (comfort, coziness, and well-being), consistently ranks among the happiest countries. The Danish welfare model promotes work-life balance, contributing to higher life satisfaction.
Norway ranks first in the social and second in the economic categories. With a per capita GDP of $57,000, it is a country with a standard of living that ranks second in the world. The government health care system gives full coverage to every single person.
Topping the list for several years now, Finland is renowned for its exceptional quality of life. Its residents benefit from top-tier education, robust healthcare, and a strong sense of community. The concept of “Sisu”, which means extraordinary determination and resilience, runs deep in Finnish culture and perhaps contributes to their overall well-being.
Happiness is complex and cannot be measured by a single criterion. These countries rank high in happiness, indicating a combination of cultural values, economic policies, and more contributes to citizens’ well-being. If you’re curious about what makes a nation happy or seeking a change, this list is a great starting point.