What are the main factors that determine the happiness of the inhabitants of a certain country? The Better Life Index was developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). With its help, the happiest places on Earth are annually determined. This ratio is based on several factors including education, employment, life satisfaction, income, health and environment. I present to your attention a list of the 10 happiest countries in the world. The coefficient of happiness reflects the assessment of their lives by the inhabitants of the country. Its value ranges from 0 to 10.
Netherlands, happiness factor: 7.4
The Dutch are one of the most satisfied people in the world. 75% of the country’s residents aged 15 to 64 have a job. The median household income in the Netherlands after paying all types of taxes and insurance is $25,493. This is a fairly important indicator of the country’s standard of living. The Dutch consider education an important part of life, and the Dutch literacy rate is 99%.
The Dutch pay great attention to the balance of work and leisure, which positively affects the level of happiness. Only a few percent of the Dutch work more than 7 hours a day. Both women and men devote sufficient time to household chores and children. Social support is quite well developed in the country, people try to help each other and support in difficult situations. Thanks to a very advanced healthcare system, the average life expectancy for a citizen of the Netherlands is 81 years. Without a doubt, this is one of the happiest countries in the world.
Sweden, happiness factor: 7.4
Sweden is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. Transparent government is one of the key factors for the well-being of citizens. Sweden also has a fairly high voter turnout – 85% of the country’s inhabitants participate in elections and trust the elected government. In terms of employment, 74% of Swedes aged 15-64 have a job. Sweden also has a high total net income of $23,047 and a high standard of living.
Sweden also does not practice long hours, which guarantees a better balance of working hours. Swedish parents have enough time to raise their children. The country’s literacy rate reaches an impressive 99%. A compulsory system of learning a second language other than Swedish ensures better language skills. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is the first green capital in Europe. The city is known for a large number of green areas and parks. Swedes also have access to the cleanest tap water in the world. The average life expectancy for Swedes is 82 years. The government annually spends 9% of the national GDP (US$558.9 billion) on health care to provide good health care to its citizens.
Finland, happiness level: 7.4
An advanced education system, affordable healthcare, strong social support and better working conditions make Finland one of the happiest countries in the world. Unlike other developed countries, school hours in Finland are much shorter. At the same time, an advanced educational system, excellent teacher-student relations and well-being control for all children are ensured. 83% of Finns have a quality higher education. Finland has an average employment rate of 70%. Finns have a combined net annual income of $25,739 per family. They invest the main part of their income in education, obtaining new skills and abilities. Well-educated Finns are also very friendly. They maintain strong social ties and help other people, which maintains a positive atmosphere in society.
In Finland, gender equality is also observed – 40% of the seats in the Finnish government are occupied by women. Finland also has a very low infant mortality rate due to child care and an advanced medical system. This makes Finland one of the best places for motherhood. Finns are among the healthiest people in the world, with an average life expectancy of 81 years. Without a doubt, this is one of the happiest countries in the world.
Australia, happiness factor: 7.4
With a GDP of US$1.5 trillion, Australia is one of the wealthiest economies in the world. 72% of Australians aged 15 to 64 have a job. The combined net income of Australians is $31,197 per year per family, allowing them to maintain a higher standard of living. Australia also has a very low risk of losing a job. Australia’s world-class education system practices recruiting foreigners as teachers. A special program in Australian schools allows students to gain a certain working skill that allows them to work immediately after graduation. Such programs in Australia not only open up a world of opportunity, but also create a productive workforce.
Australia is also home to many natural wonders and attractions. The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the largest coral system on Earth at 2300 km long, visible even from space. It also has beautiful beaches, pink lakes and amazing national parks, making Australia a popular tourist destination. The voter turnout in the country is 93%, indicating high civic engagement. Open government also guarantees the well-being of citizens. Australians are very satisfied with their lives. They maintain good relations with each other, and the average life expectancy is 82 years.
Iceland, happiness factor: 7.5
Iceland is a rich, beautiful, peaceful and educated country. No wonder some of the happiest people on Earth live here. Iceland has a high percentage of the working population, where 80% of the citizens are employed. The employment rate of women in Iceland is also one of the highest (over 79%). But Icelanders strike a perfect balance between work hours and family matters. The education rate in the country is quite high due to the availability of a university degree, where students only need to pay an entrance fee. The crime rate in Iceland is one of the lowest in the world, which plays an important role in the well-being of citizens.
Iceland is the ideal of gender equality in a world where women are present in all major areas like politics, employment and education. The first woman president in Europe was elected in Iceland back in 1980. The average life expectancy of Icelanders is 82 years. A favorable environment and clean air are important factors in the health of citizens, as is an organized healthcare system. The infant mortality rate in Iceland is also very low.
Austria, happiness factor: 7.5
Security is an important factor that determines the happiness of citizens in a country. In this regard, Austria is one of the best places to live due to its very low crime rate. The country is also known for cleanliness and beautiful scenery. The employment rate in Austria is 73%. Even full-time workers find time for socialization, parenting and their hobbies. Austrians also enjoy a lot of holidays and weekends as some of the most relaxed citizens in the world. The country has a developed education and healthcare system, a rich culture and many attractions. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is known for its historic architecture, outstanding music concerts and the highest quality of life.
Austria is a remarkably clean and tidy country with clean air and strict environmental laws. Austrians are also satisfied with the quality of drinking water and city parks. The public transport system here is one of the most efficient in the world. The average life expectancy of Austrians is 82 years. The country has an extensive network of hospitals and many private doctors. All Austrian citizens receive free access to healthcare.
Denmark, happiness factor: 7.6
Denmark consistently ranks at the top in many areas, including security, trust in government, health, wealth and education. Trust is the main factor that makes Danes one of the happiest people in the world. The Danes maintain a high level of trust not only in the state, but also in each other. They focus more on relationships than money. Strong social support makes the life of the Danes more peaceful, where a sense of human equality prevails.
The government does its best to promote the well-being of citizens, receiving in return trust and a high voter turnout of 88%. Even on working days, the Danes try to pay attention to socialization, raising children, household chores and their own hobbies. This helps to prevent depression and anxiety in everyday life. Even during the winter season, Danes gather in parks and on the streets to spend time together. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is one of the greenest cities in the world. Most residents in the city move on foot or by bicycle. The city has excellent cycling routes. Through environmental policies, the city plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Taxes in Denmark are very high, but the government offers free healthcare and education to citizens. Denmark rightfully takes its place in the list of the happiest countries in the world.
Canada, happiness index: 7.6
Compared to other North American countries, Canadians enjoy life satisfaction and more positive emotions. The country has a high total household income of US$30,000. Over 70% of Canadians own their own home and car. The country maintains a balance between the working day and everyday life, so that people have time to relax and raise children. Canadians are not afraid of robberies due to the low crime rate. Canada is also one of the least corrupt countries in the world. The authorities here seek to introduce new programs for the development of the country and for the well-being of citizens. The Canadian government also provides great support for citizens in case of unemployment and health issues. It is a country with one of the best medical systems in the world.
Thanks to a productive educational system, the literacy rate reaches 99%. The affordable and extraordinary education system in Canada also attracts foreigners from all over the world. There is no age discrimination in Canada. Citizens under 65 easily get vacancies and continue to work. Another important factor is the natural beauty, the many national parks and attractions. The abundance of forests and parks throughout the country contributes to maintaining high air quality.
Norway, happiness index: 7.7
Undoubtedly, Norway is one of the happiest countries in the world. Norway tops the lists of the happiest, safest, healthiest and well-educated countries. The unemployment rate here is only 3.4%. The working population enjoys five weeks of official holidays each year. Norway has an extremely low crime and corruption rate. The Norwegian government is committed to providing equal benefits to all members of society. The elderly and disabled will also receive health insurance and a pension from the government. The education system in Norway is inexpensive and exceptional in quality.
Norway is also famous for its natural beauty. The country is home to thousands of lakes, national parks and breathtaking fjords. The Lofoten Archipelago in Norway is a great place to see the Northern Lights. The average life expectancy of Norwegians is 81 years. Most hospitals in Norway are public, providing basic medical services free of charge.
Switzerland, happiness index: 7.8
Small and beautiful Switzerland is home to the happiest people on earth. The country has a strong economy and a transparent government. The unemployment rate in Switzerland is only 2.9%, the tax system is quite democratic, and wages are among the highest in the world. Most Swiss citizens try to strike a balance between work and leisure with family, raising children and socializing with friends. People try to exercise every day and lead a healthy lifestyle. The crime rate in Switzerland is extremely low and the cities are clean and tidy. All educational institutions in Switzerland are relatively inexpensive. The government also offers scholarships for international students.
Switzerland has an extensive network of hospitals with excellent patient care. Most services are paid for through the health insurance system. No wonder Swiss citizens are among the healthiest people in the world. The average life expectancy of a Swiss is 83 years. Most citizens are satisfied with the quality of water and air in the country. If you have not yet found the answer to the question “What is happiness?”, then this article on LifeGlobe can help.