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Foreign Policy Analysis
Top 20 Happiest Countries To Live In The World

Top 20 Happiest Countries To Live In The World

How to measure happiness? Greek philosopher Aristotle talked about two
kinds of happiness: hedonic, meaning pleasure gained from experiences, that kind of instant
gratification. Then there’s eudaimonic happiness, which
is more related to sustained happiness, self-realization, and a sense of well-being. If you are happy and you know it…you might
be wrong. There’s this thing called the “pleasure
paradox”, which is you thinking certain things make you happy when they don’t. Then there’s “synthetic happiness,”
which is our brains convincing us we are happy when we are not, just because reality would
hurt too much. Despite the difficulties of measuring the
happiness of one-person, entire countries are judged for their happiness. There’s even a World Map of Happiness. Today, we’ll look at the leaders of the
world in happiness, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Top 20 Happiest Countries
in The World. The World Happiness Report takes 156 countries
and measures their happiness by six variables: income and what you can do with it; life expectancy;
social support & safety nets; personal freedoms; trust, in terms of how you trust the government
or police, laws, or even matters related to business, basically how people perceive corruption;
and lastly, generosity, as in charity and how much is shared or given away. Around 2,000 to 3,000 people in every country
are asked to answer questions based on these variables. At the bottom of this year’s list were Yemen,
Tanzania, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Burundi, so people in those countries
likely have a hard time for the most part. But who is in the top 20? 20. United Arab Emirates
This is the happiest country in the Arab world. Behind is Qatar at 32, Saudi Arabia at 33,
Bahrain at 43, and Kuwait at 45. Sometimes said to be a dangerous part of the
world, UAE goes against that grain. One expat wrote about living there, “Everything
is there for you with full convenience, accessibility, and safety, what more could one ask for?” It’s said to be a melting pot of nationalities
and ethnicities, but has little discrimination. But there are some people who do suffer, and
human rights organizations say these are the many exploited workers who labor there. 19. The United Kingdom
The country that still, to some extent, has a class system, is high up in terms of happiness. Those Brits might like to complain about the
terrible weather, the price of late trains, Brexit, lizard queens, and football teams
that never win, but they are actually happy according to this report. They get free healthcare if they are willing
to wait for it, with their marvelous (some say getting less marvelous) national health
scheme. No job, no problem, you can get money from
the government (people in many countries don’t have welfare). And when things get too bad for those Brits,
there’s always a pub down the street full of merry men and women and a cheap flight
to the Costa del somewhere. 18. United States of America
What did Brit sage and TV star Stephen Fry say about America, after making a series about
the country? He said people were just very bloody positive
compared to the downcast Brits. Ok, some people have it tough…there’s
discrimination, racism, healthcare bills that can ruin your life, rampant crime, and almost
entire towns hooked on Oxys and Xanax, but the American Dream is alive and well in some
people’s hearts. America still is a land of opportunity. While 18th place isn’t bad, some American
media said the ranking was depressing because it was quite a slide from recent years. The reason for the slide? Physical and mental health apparently; some
Americans eat too much as we know, and an obesity crisis has led to widespread bad health. Pizza for school lunch might make some kids
happy, but things tend to get worse in adulthood. There’s also the aforementioned substance
abuse, and Big Pharma being hard at work curing all kinds of mental strife. America has the world at its feet, great opportunities
for hard workers, safety nets in place, a decent standard of education, but people need
to stop abusing themselves and do the Buddhist thing and be moderate. 17. Luxembourg
The average Luxembourger is quite happy. Like America, the Grand Duchy fell a few places
this year. This is a tiny yet expensive country, that
is said to be home to more expats than any other European country. There are three languages: French, German,
and Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish) spoken by just over half a million people. Yes, that’s more like a city-size. 98 percent of the population have free healthcare
and its said to be one of the best in the world. Borgen writes that most people live comfortably
here, although a few people do live in relative poverty. But the average per capita wage is $46,591
so it can’t be too bad. There’s hardly any crime, either. 16. Belgium
Maybe it’s all the great beer and chocolate, but it’s more than that that makes Belgium
a happy country. Borgen says that poverty rates are low, but
6 percent of the country’s population do live with “severe material deprivation”,
meaning they don’t have much at all. Social support and GDP were the main factors
for the high ranking, with no mention at all about chocolate. 15. Germany
Cost of living in Germany is reasonable, and with a high GDP and strong industry, there
is much room to do well in Germany. One American writer on Quora who had lived
in Germany praised the country, saying, “Infrastructure is excellent as is anything that has to do
with technology. You feel the high-tech everywhere you go. Both the cities and countryside makes you
feel like you are living on a very advanced planet.” Ok, so it’s organized to a degree that is
annoying at times, as some say, overly bureaucratic, but if you work hard here you will likely
have many opportunities. On the downside, the American expat said Germans
are way too afraid of all kinds of authority, making life oppressive at times. 14. Ireland
Many English people hop over to Ireland and say, “Oh, what a beautiful country…and
the people are so friendly.” It’s said the Irish like having a good time,
enjoying what they call the Craic (pronounced crack). Ok, so there were troubles not long ago, and
to some, that might make Ireland look rather grim, but nowadays, according to OECD, the
economy is good, average earnings are good, and it seems things in Ireland, in almost
all categories, are just getting better. One other thing that is said to be good in
Ireland is community spirit and the fact that people can rely on that community. It’s also a bonus if you travel to America,
‘cos everyone there seems to love a real Irish person. 13. Costa Rica
This is some accomplishment by Costa Rica, given that it’s the only country in this
part of the world to make the list. We don’t just mean Central America, but
South America, too. What’s so good about the country? The Huffington Post writes about this favorite
tourist and expat haunt, saying the life is just good, good and good here. Life expectancy is high, state healthcare
is said to be great, and the economy is strong at the moment. It’s also said that the country has a very
fair and democratic government, with not much corruption compared to nearby countries. According to the US government, crime is pretty
low too, especially for this region of the world. There were 603 homicides in 2017, which aint
bad really- and that was a record high. 12. Austria
This country has few poor people. It ranks high in income standards, housing
standards, health, well-being, crime, or lack thereof, environmental quality, and education. There’s hardly any crime, and you have great
scenery all over the place. What’s more, Austria is a pretty place to
live. In some surveys, Vienna was ranked the best
place to live in the world. 11. Israel
If you think that because of ongoing conflicts, Israel is a crappy place to live, you are
wrong. The average income of most people is good,
and life expectancy is very high. Although, OECD says education and skills,
housing standards, environmental quality, how much you work, and your social connections
are all below average. People work too much we are told, but what
you get for your money is not too bad. 10. Australia
Ever watched the TV shows “Neighbors” or “Home and Away”? If you had, you might think living here was
a walk in the park. It seems you don’t work too much, and spend
half your life at the beach, or at least in those shows anyway. If you’ve ever listened to Nick Cave, the
Australian musician, you might have a different opinion. It’s expensive, but wages are good. The economy is great, the sun shines a lot,
and the crime rate isn’t that high. In fact, the country just experienced its
lowest murder rate ever, according to The Guardian. Don’t believe everything you see in those
outback murder movies. 9. Sweden
We bet you knew Sweden would appear on this list. With good wages and a robust economy, Sweden
is doing fine. You pay loads of taxes, but you get a lot
back for that. We like what this person said on Quora, “Swedes
also don’t attempt to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ Social competitiveness is not part of their
national ethos. This means that they are more content with
what they have, and living their own lives the way they see fit.” That seems like the recipe for a good life
if, indeed, you have all the basic necessities, and most Swedes seem to have those. Another Swede backed that up, saying that
there are few posh areas in the country and few deprived areas, unlike most countries
in the world that have virtually no-go areas and areas for the rich only. 8. New Zealand
New Zealand media wrote in 2015 that the country has “the world’s third-highest material
standard of living.” They might not earn as much as people from
some other countries, but they get a lot for their money. Education is excellent, healthcare is free,
and you’ve got that amazing countryside that you may have seen in the Lord of the
Rings movies. Nonetheless, the Guardian writes that there
are those that get left behind, and poverty is a shameful secret of the country. “Catch a bus or two from Britomart in central
Auckland, and after an hour and a half, you will arrive in the urban slum of South Auckland,”
said the article. 7. Canada
So, what about the Canucks, do they have poverty? Anyone who’s ventured into the meanest streets
of Toronto or Montreal can tell you of course they do. But on the whole, Canada has a good distribution
of wealth, not much crime, not much discrimination, considering it’s so diverse, and good education. If you come from a poor country and visit
parts of Ottawa, you might think you are living in a kind of wonderland. Ok, so some parts of the country seem kinda
dull and downtrodden, but in general, most people agree that Canada is just cool, if
not too cold in parts. 6. Netherlands
Talking about dull, the Netherlands can be a bit grey at times. But OECD says this, “The Netherlands ranks
top in work-life balance and above the average in income and wealth, jobs and earnings, housing,
education and skills, subjective well-being, social connections, environmental quality,
personal safety, civic engagement, and health status.” You could say, in some respects, the Netherlands
is similar to Canada in that many people often have a very liberal attitude. That means a lot in terms of happiness. They eat well, embrace fun, cycle around a
lot, and if you should fall off that bike, they have one of the best healthcare systems
in the world. It’s free of course, but your employer will
take some cash for the mandatory healthcare system. 5. Switzerland
It might be one of the most expensive places to live in the world, but it’s also home
to people who, for the most part, can afford it. “If disposable income is the benchmark for
living standards, then Switzerland is the third best placed country in Europe,” writes
Swiss Info. There is free healthcare, free education,
a stable political climate, and almost no crime. On Quora, someone called the country “heaven
on Earth.” If you can afford it, you’ve also got that
amazing countryside you can wander around. Bergen tells us only one in 13 people live
below the poverty line. 4. Iceland
The home of great musicians such as Bjork and Sigur Ros, but also the home of 86 percent
of people that have a job, if they are at an employable age. Life expectancy is high, at 83. Saying that, we found a source that said Icelanders
are dying to live abroad. Maybe all that fresh air isn’t always a
good thing. BTW, Ireland, also on our list, was number
one for citizens that move abroad. 3. Denmark
Flat, grey Denmark- could it really be all that happy? Well, like its neighbor Sweden, Danish folks
just have a great safety net. It’s hard to be poor there, like, really
poor. But one source says it’s not all about money,
but more the culture, and also the leisure time and family life that people enjoy. There were only 39 murders in 2017; meanwhile
California had 1,930 murders in 2016. 2. Norway
Norway is happy, despite some of those living in the north spending months in darkness. If you’ve taken a trip to this magical country,
you’ll know something else: it’s unbelievably expensive. Still, there’s hardly any poverty; you will
likely live a long time (81.3 is the average), and if you live there as an adult, there is
little chance you’ll be unemployed, and if you have a job, you’ll likely earn enough
to afford the expensive meals for two. There is virtually no poverty here, and we
don’t mean relative poverty, but people in the streets begging or pushing trolleys
down the street. Free healthcare, a great system of education,
a healthy environment, who wouldn’t want to live here? 1. Finland
Ok, so the top of the list has one of the highest suicide rates in the developed world. Go figure. This is one reason we said at the start that
happiness is hard to measure. Is it the lack of sun, or the Sami culture
of men not being able to express their emotions? We don’t know, but Finland enjoys a maverick
educational system where students study less and learn more, great healthcare, a vibrant
economy, and good infrastructure. The Economist tried to explain why Fins are
so happy and the answer was people just have it easy. They trust their government, trust their police,
believe in their teachers, have little discrimination, have equal opportunities, a good spread of
wealth, and hardly any crime. Now, we just need to figure out why so many
Fins are offing themselves. So, do you
live in one of these countries? Does it seem like the life is happy there? Let us know in the comments! Also be sure to check out our other video
called Hardest Languages to Learn. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 comments on “Top 20 Happiest Countries To Live In The World

  1. 1. United Arab Emirates
    2. The United Kingdom
    3. The United States Of America
    4. Luxembourg
    5. Belgium
    6. Germany
    7. Ireland
    8. Costa Rica
    9. Austria
    10. Israel
    11. Australia
    12. Sweden
    13. New Zealand
    14. Canada
    15. Netherlands
    16. Switzerland
    17. Iceland
    18. Denmark
    19. Norway
    20. Finland

  2. I just wanna make something clear about Scandinavia and Finland in particular. According to the UN it's the happiest country in the world but somehow they actually don't smile a lot. It's kinda their culture because Fins generally don't even talk much. So, if you're not from any Nordic country it might not be the place for ya. I've personally never been there so I don't really know what it's really like to live there, I just based it on stuff that I found on the internet. I guess it's kinda like Salmiakki (salted liquorice): Americans hate it but Fins love it. It's a very different society where trust is not even questioned.

  3. There is only 1 asian country in the top 20. Hmm i wonder why. Well anyway glad my country is number 1 at something 🇫🇮

  4. I am actually shock that Philippines is not in the list, I mean I thought Philippines is actually included in the Top 5 Most Happiest Countries in the World so why is it not here? So disappointing and sad, like really just sad (I actually searched it up on the internet and find out that its on the 69th place and this is plainly sad and sorry for my mistake)

  5. 20. 🇦🇪
    19. 🇬🇧
    18. 🇺🇸
    17. 🇱🇺
    16. 🇧🇪
    15. 🇩🇪
    14. 🇮🇪
    13. Costa Rica
    12. Austria
    11. 🇮🇱
    10. 🇭🇲
    9. 🇸🇪
    8. 🇳🇿
    7. 🇨🇦
    6. 🇳🇱
    5. 🇨🇭. I thought they woild be neutral lol
    4. 🇮🇸
    3. 🇩🇰
    2. 🇳🇴
    1. 🇫🇮

  6. SUOMI MAINITTU!!!! 🇫🇮🇫🇮 siis oikeesti me ollaan siis iha sika pieni maa mut iha sairaan hyvä jääkiekossa, ilossa ja kaikessa muussa siis SUOMI PERKELE🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮

  7. Finland is the happiest place to live because the sad people keep killing themselves

    Torilla tavataan!

  8. America is not actually on this list that is false information as in that happiness report the US was actually farther away from 18

  9. @Infographics Show If you are in any education in the uk, and you have ebola you can't have treatment you must go to school and infect everyone else because it's the law you must obey the law.

  10. How norwy is so happy i dont know. Im from norway, and if i stop a stranger and Ask for a direction or somthing, he will think i am wierd

  11. I don't think, that we Finns are enormously happy, but we are quietly content with our lives. The Norwegians and the Swiss people might be more demanding than we.

  12. Happiness is something I do not understand. I can only attest to moments of ecstasy which I believe do not qualify. Oh well it is what it is.

  13. Northern ireland had the troubles and violence , the republic of ireland was not really touvhed by while of course we were not happy about people killing each other on a corner of the island we share it was mostly in northern ireland which is part of the UK not ireland as such,although thats the issue people were killing themselves over not religion as is wrongly protrayed

  14. As a Swede I can tell you that any country outside Scandinavia that I've visited are way below my standard. We have rights and privileges, that many don't even know could exist, here. Unawareness is bliss.

  15. I've wanted to move to Norway since I was 9 or 10 (about 5 years ago). I've always wanted to be a teacher. I recently found out Norway pays their teachers very well even adjusted for cost of living. Off to Trondheim.

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