The Best Places To Live
Top 5 Happiest Countries
Have you ever wondered where the happiest people on Earth are? If not, this article might not be for you, so step aside while the rest of us take a tour of the cheeriest countries in the world.
Each year the United Nations publishes a 'world happiness report' in which it ranks every country on earth based on 6 different factors:
- GDP per capita;
- Social support;
- Healthy life expectancy;
- Freedom to make life choices;
- Trust / absence of corruption.
With that in mind, which countries come out best in these rankings?
We kick start our list with Finland, the 8th biggest country in Europe and the 5th happiest country in the world. What makes the Finns so happy? A great education system and factors such as civil liberties mean that it often tops various polls on pleasant places to reside. In 2015 it was declared the country with the freest press.
In at number four we have Norway, the land of fjords, glaciers and mountain ranges. It's population of around 5.5 million are the 4th happiest group of people on the planet.
It's strong economy, boosted by the fact it's the largest oil producer in the world outside of the Middle East, means citizens enjoy a very high standard of living. While money can't buy you happiness, it's certainly given the residents of Norway a boost.
With a population of just over 330,000, and a large landmass, Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Is that the reason it's the 3rd happiest place on Earth? After all, we all enjoy a bit of time to ourselves once in a while.
Other potential factors include low taxes, free healthcare, free education and of course their heated pavements. Because nobody enjoys slipping over in winter.
Lake Geneva, the Alps, Swiss chocolate and wealth, abundant wealth. It's not hard to see why Switzerland takes the 2nd spot on the list, although it's not just nice views and Rolex watches that make the Swiss a contented bunch.
Excellent health and healthcare combined with a national feeling of safety added to the sense of satisfaction that comes with inhabiting Switzerland.
We don't hear an awful lot about Denmark, but it turns out its 5.7 million inhabitants are quietly having a whale of a time over in the southern Scandinavia country.
High incomes combined ease of social mobility and excellent healthcare all contribute to the Danes overall happiness. They also enjoy living in the least corrupt nation in the world, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index.
There we have it, if you're feeling a bit down lately, take a trip to Denmark and hopefully some of their good fortune and happiness will rub off on you.
But where is the UK I hear you ask. For a nation that 'mustn't grumble', the UK doesn't seem to have too much to grumble about, ranking 23rd out of the 157 countries for happiness. We are however languishing behind Mexico (22), Brazil (17) and Israel (11).
If there is one thing we can take away from this top 5, it's that hot weather is not a crucial ingredient in happiness, as the happiest places would be politely described as 'a bit brisk' for large parts of the year.
While we can't offer you happiness, we can give you a chance to bank this week's huge £56 million rollover jackpot on EuroMillions.