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The World's Happiest Countries

February 16, 2016

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Ever wonder how the world's doing in terms of happiness? Turns out, economists, psychologists, statisticians, and other leading experts around the world have wondered, and since 2012 have been working with professors from the University of British Columbia, Columbia University, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to facilitate the yearly release of the World Happiness Report. 

How is Happiness Measured? 

  • The World Happiness Report is based on data gathered using the Gallop World Poll, during which surveys of 1,000 to 3,000 individuals are conducted within each country. 
  • Participants are asked to rank aspects of their lives on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the best possible life and 0 being the worst.
  • Questions are based around social support, life expectancy, and levels of economic activity. 

What makes you happy? What makes you happy? Courtesy of wanderlustworker.com

Switzerland

  • In 2015, the World Happiness Report recognized Switzerland as the happiest country in the world. Switzerland is located in western/central Europe and is bordered by several countries, including Austria, Germany, and France. 
  • Switzerland boasts a first-class education system, a healthy economic status, and gorgeous natural surroundings. Most of its residents are multilingual, speaking German, French, and English. 
  • Switzerland is also one of the "greenest" countries in the world, with up to 96% of recyclable materials being recycled regularly (in comparison to 30% in America). 

It's not hard to believe Switzerland is happy - look at those mountains!It's not hard to believe Switzerland is happy - look at those mountains!Courtesy of eatstaylive.com

Iceland

  • In 2015, Iceland was named the second happiest country in the world. Iceland is an island country located in northern Europe, between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. 
  • Iceland offers free higher education to its citizens, along with free health care. Social systems of this kind are often considered to add very much to the general happiness of residents. 
  • Iceland is also quite a peaceful country, according to the Global Peace Index. 

Iceland is a little isolated, but it's known to be a happy country nevertheless!Iceland is a little isolated, but it's known to be a happy country nevertheless!Courtesy of cntraveller.com

Denmark

  • In an earlier World Happiness Report, Denmark actually came in at number one, so its current position of third happiest country in the world represents a bit of a drop, but it's still pretty impressive to be listed among the top 3. 
  • Denmark is the southernmost of the northern European countries, and is bordered to the south by Germany. 
  • 88% of Danes have said that their financial situation is "good," which, honestly, is quite amazing. That's a huge majority of people that are economically satisfied! 
  • Danes also enjoy excellent health care and education, and studies have shown that Denmark is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. 

Denmark is considered a part of Scandinavia. Denmark is considered a part of Scandinavia. Courtesy of vamostravel.com

The happiest places in the world have a lot in common - they offer excellent health care, education, social mobility, and economic equality. Take some time to think about what kinds of things would make you, your family, and your friends happy with where you live. 

Have Your Say!

Are you happy where you live? Share with our Kidzworld readers!