Happiness is something every person desires to have.
Why do you want to get promoted? Because it will make you happy.
Why do you want to win the lottery? Because it will make you rich – and thus, happy!
No matter what we try to achieve, one thing’s for sure – it’s connected to our happiness.
Happiness is so crucial that even the United Nations have supported a report that ranks the happiest countries in the world – the World Happiness Report.
Established in 2013, the World Happiness Report finds out which country is the happiest from checking six key variables: income, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom, and trust.
Here are the 10 happiest countries in the world for 2018, according to the report:
Despite being one of the driest countries on Earth, Australia is ranked 10th among the World’s Happiest Countries. It just goes to show that a little beat of heat isn’t so bad. Ranked 9th last year, Australia slipped down a notch, but it’s unsurprising for it to be a part of the top ten as Australia has a low crime rate, dependable government system, and – well – spectacular places to visit.
Home to the world’s largest city, Stockholm, Sweden is 9th on the list of World’s Happiest Countries. Stockholm alone has a population of more than 930,000 – maybe there’s truth to the ‘the more, the merrier’ saying, after all. Sweden has not participated in any war in the last 200 years, in spite of being one of the largest manufacturers of weapons in the world.
8. New Zealand
New Zealand secured the 8th spot in terms of happiness worldwide. It has an excellent healthcare system and a low crime rate. The country has more animals in its territory than humans. Numerous studies have proven it before – animals can bring people happiness. And maybe that was a key factor in being ranked as 8th in the list.
Although sometimes being teased for being extremely polite and way too nice, Canadians have another reason to rejoice as Canada is the 7th happiest country in the world. (Who’s laughing now? Ha!) The country has a high population of around 36.95 million as of 2018. Canada was also recognized as one of the best countries to visit by Lonely Planet in 2017.
Netherlands is well known for having legalized marijuana for personal use as well as prostitution. While others may view this decision as reckless or even wrong – when you really think about it, Netherlands proved that it places a high value on something in making this decision – and that is freedom. Netherlands is also one of the first countries to ever legalize same-sex marriage. In letting the Dutch live happily, freely, it’s not surprising that the country has one of the happiest people in the world.
Being the country with the lowest crime rate in the world, Switzerland is recognized as the 5th happiest country across the globe. Switzerland has not participated in any military war since 1815, and the Swiss are the largest consumers of chocolates in the world – do we really need more explanation why they’re happy?
Iceland has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, and one of the safest. No police in the country carries a gun. Icelanders are the world’s highest consumers of Coca-Cola. The country also has an exceptionally high trust rate that you can always count on others to help you in time of need. Iceland does not have a standing army.
Mostly geographically flat, Denmark is the 3rd happiest country in the world. Lego was invented in Denmark. The healthcare system is so excellent that physical check ups are free of charge. Alcohol is legal anywhere in Denmark and it is common to see a person drinking beer in public places, even in public transportation.
Norway was last year’s happiest country in the world. Although it went down a notch this year, there’s no denying that the country has one of the most stable economies. Norway is also one of the wealthiest countries that resulted in Norwegians being fully secured in terms of healthcare and education – no wonder they’re happy!
Last year’s 5th happiest country, Finland has now topped the list as the happiest country in the world. According to the Global Gender Gap report of 2017, this country has one of the smallest gender gaps – meaning equality between men and women is definitely being valued. As a matter of fact, the first female prime minister in Finland was elected in 2003. Finland became the only European country which had a female president as well as prime minister.
If your country’s not in the list, there’s no need to be sad. Happiness can be found within us, no matter where we are in the world. As Professor Dumbledore once said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”