The world’s ten happiest countries, according to this year’s 2013 World Happiness Report, which looks at earnings, living standard, employment, mental health and family stability.
- Denmark :
It is no surprise that the small Scandinavian nation with a population of 5.5 million has been named the world’s happiest country in this year’s World Happiness Report. Since 1973, the Danes have also topped the European Commission’s Eurobarometer scale, where member states are surveyed to measure the ‘well-being’ and ‘happiness’ of its citizens.
Its capital city Copenhagen was also named the “world’s most liveable city” again earlier this year by the international affairs magazine Monocle for its quality of life. The city is now regarded as one of Europe’s top foodie destinations, with the help of restaurants such as Noma which was named the “world’s best restaurant” last year.
- Norway :
Norway also topped the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index of the world’s happiest countries earlier this year, where 95 per cent of those surveyed were happy with the freedom to choose the direction of their lives. With a per capita GDP of about £36,088 a year, the country was also found to have the second highest level of satisfaction with their standards of living.
- Switzerland :
Switzerland’s ranking as the third happiest country in the world also follows the latest World Economic Forum report which named it the “most competitive country in the world” for the fifth consecutive year. The country was recognized for its “excellent institutions, the dynamism of its markets, and its capacity for innovation”.
- Netherlands :
The Netherlands, which also came fourth in last year’s World Happiness Report, is renowned for is liberal policies and tasty beer.
- Sweden :
Western Europe’s third largest country is also home to some of the world’s happiest, with Swedes giving their lives an average satisfaction grade of 7.6, one of the highest scores in the OECD.
- Canada :
With a high average life expectancy and average income, Canada ranked sixth in this year’s World Happiness Report. Ninety-four per cent of Canadians believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need while 82 per cent say they have more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones, according to the Better Life Index of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
- Finland :
Europe’s eighth largest country has also been previously ranked among the countries with the highest quality of life by the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index and among the most peaceful countries in the world by the Global Peace Index.
- Austria :
The mountainous landlocked country of 8.47 million people, known for its rich music and arts scene, was also ranked among the wealthiest countries in the world, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund this year.
- Iceland :
Offering a relatively low income tax, free health care and post-secondary education to its citizens, the island country has also been rated to be the most peaceful nation on Earth on the Global Peace Index., endorsed by pacifists such as Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, and archbishop Desmond Tutu.
10. Australia :
Home to the world’s largest coral reef system, The Great Barrier Reef, pristine beach coasts and year-round warm temperatures, Australia is one of the world’s most popular destinations. Earlier this year, almost 350,000 people expressed an interest in applying for Australia’s six “best jobs in the world”.
The country’s capital Melbourne was also named “the best city in the world to live in”, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit global “liveability” study, which looks at crime levels, threat of conflict, quality of medical care, levels of censorship, temperature, schools and transport links.
– Pratiksha Trivedi
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