Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland are the happiest countries in the world. These Nordic countries might not have perfect weather, but they are often seen as some of the leading countries in terms of happiness, which is actually measures.
Happiness is measured by looking at parameters such as having the freedom to make life choices, perceived levels of corruption, generosity, life expectancy, and GPD per capita. Taking all of these into account, the following countries rank on top.
Finland is a large country with a small population. But this is not why it ranks so high up the ranks. Finland is a country that loves teachers and education, particularly self-driven education. Most locals learn differently by measures of qualitative learning. Teachers here are the best in the world. You are required to hold a Master’s Degree to become a teacher in Finland and this means the quality of education is considerably higher, which might be responsible for its low levels of corruption.
Work-life balance is among the best in Denmark. People here are generally more relaxed. They even love alternative transportation methods such as cycling more than any other nation even before it was a trend. Danes cycle to work frequently and this keeps them happier and healthier than most other nations.
Trust in government policies is high here. Levels of corruption are perceived as low. While the country is expensive, much of the collected taxes go into social support and publicly-funded services such as healthcare and transport infrastructure.
Norway has always been a happy country. People here live in a connection with nature which is highly respected when it comes to the exploitation of natural resources. High levels of income are backed by large-scale fishing and oil production. But Norwegians have never been big consumers compared to other Western nations. Even before the international plan to move towards green energy, Norwegians were living with high respect for nature and their generosity is well-known.
Iceland is also a very happy country. Its residents permanently plan trips out in nature, similarly to Norway which can be one of the reasons for this general well-being. Perceived levels of corruption are the lowest in the world in Iceland. This means local politicians enjoy the most trust in the world. Icelanders also eat healthier food than many other nations as the fast-food industry only made its way to the country in the past few years.
The Netherlands also ranks highly in terms of overall happiness. Healthy living, sports, and good healthcare are among the unchanged areas that its residents are most proud of. A recent study shows kids in the Dutch state are the happiest in the world. Children here generally feel safe. Their health is probably the best in the world and part of these benefits rely on excellent cycling mobility, a low dependency on cars and public transport as well as a good understanding of nutrition principles.
While not as remote as other happy countries, Switzerland has been constantly seen as a happy place to live. It is known as a country of direct political and social participation. It probably holds records for the number of the referendum it holds. Swiss citizens get to choose what changes in their county, how many immigrants can come in in a year, what roads need to be improved, and which tourist hotspots need to be made popular.
While the system isn’t perfect, it has created a protective state where much of the country is under strict regulation. For example, high-rise buildings and chaotic urban development are hard to see in Switzerland. On the other hand, perceived levels of corruption are higher in Switzerland than in Finland or Norway.