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List of Top 10 happiest countries in the World

Happiness is a difficult thing to measure, but one initiative at the United Nations is trying to figure it out. Every year since 2012, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network has published its World Happiness Report – a study that examines the links between happiness and development, while encouraging policymakers to place greater emphasis on the former.

About 1,000 people in each UN member state rate their quality of life on a scale of 0 to 10, while researchers select data from six areas: GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, trust and corruption, perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity. The World Happiness Report 2022 has just been released, and while the results follow previous trends, the list is a bit more interesting because of COVID-19. The report paid particular attention to assessing how different governments supported the happiness of citizens before, during and likely after the pandemic.

Read the list of the 10 happiest countries in the world – and who knows? Maybe just dreaming about visiting these countries will bring you luck.

10. New Zealand

New Zealand had one of the lowest COVID-related death rates during the pandemic, cementing its place in the top ten. Even without this time stamp, Kiwis are a notoriously happy and friendly bunch, which stems from contentment both in the workplace and in the social sphere. Having a prime minister who prioritizes emotional and mental growth certainly doesn’t hurt either: In 2019, Jacinda Ardern unveiled a wellbeing budget that committed billions of dollars to initiatives such as boosting mental health, reducing child poverty and supporting Maori and Pasifika. population.

Endorphin-Boosting Travel Tip: New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with as many outdoor activities as it is stunning scenery. Whether you spend your vacation kayaking in Milford Sound, hiking in Tongariro National Park or bungee jumping in Queenstown, you’re sure to leave feeling better than when you arrived.

New Zealand

 

9. Austria

Mountains and forests give the Austrian landscape its character, although in the northeastern part of the country the Danube River winds between the eastern edge of the Alps and the hills of Bohemia and Moravia on its way to the Alföld, or Hungarian Lowland. The Federal Ministry of Health is responsible for public health in Austria. Austria has been the leader and guardian of some of the most sublime achievements in music. The Austrian Alps cover 62% of Austria.

Endorphin-Boosting Travel Tip: Boasting one of the largest unspoilt landscapes in Western Europe, Austrians love walking and hiking. This may account for the popularity of its roughly 35,000 miles of mountain roads.

Austria

8. Norway

There is not much to complain about in Norway. The combination of a well-integrated government welfare system and a thriving economy built on responsible management of natural resources (good disposal, fossil fuel cars) means that very few people are left behind, and the feelings of social support, trust in government and economic well-being that result originates, all contribute to overall happiness.

Endorphin-Boosting Travel Tip: Being by the water is scientifically proven to make people happier, and Norway has plenty of opportunities to enter the aquatic state of mind. The country has some of the deepest and most beautiful lakes in Europe, including Lake Mjøsa about 60 miles north of Oslo. There is a cycle path around the entire lake, so take a good ride before cooling off in the water.

Norway

7. Sweden

Sweden had the highest number of COVID-related deaths of any Nordic country, which may account for its drop from 6th to 7th this year. Still, it remains one of the happiest countries in the world, thanks in large part to its high GDP per capita. An emphasis on social equality that is built into the education system starting from kindergarten, 16 months of paid family leave that can be split between a couple after a new baby is welcomed into the family, and free daycare also make Sweden the best country for women, according to a separate study. Emphasis on work-life balance basically leads to a happier population.

Endorphin-boosting travel tip: Lagom is a way of life in Sweden (much like hygge in Denmark), something that’s hard to translate but basically boils down to balance and moderation. Swedes apply lagom to everything from wardrobe to diet, but the friendliest way to enjoy this tourist lifestyle is to join a fika – a designated time of day to slow down and be present, usually with a cup of hot coffee and a baked good. Just stop by any of Stockholm’s excellent cafes around 11am to easily join the locals in this daily tradition.

Sweden

6. Luxembourg

With a population of under 600,000, this small country offers high salaries and a strong social security system to help its citizens after retirement. But before you jump to the conclusion that money actually buys you happiness in Luxembourg, the country has many other benefits that have nothing to do with cash, including a great healthcare system and a great work-life balance (probably because of the mandatory five weeks vacation time).

Endorphin Boosting Trip Tip: Can’t decide between nature and culture? Get a dose of both (and a little exercise while you’re at it) by climbing the Chemin de la Corniche, a pedestrian promenade that winds along Luxembourg’s 17th-century stone walls. The street, named “The most beautiful balcony in Europe” by the Luxembourgish author Batty Weber, offers an incredible view of the Alzette River and the historic city center.

Luxembourg

5. Netherlands

The biggest statistic from the Netherlands this year? That his happiness level barely changed between 2005 and 2021 (we’re talking less than 0.03 percent). And in the Netherlands, it turns out that happiness starts young. A 2013 UNICEF report ranked Dutch children as the happiest in the world, based on a number of metrics related to the quality of education, safety and health.

Endorphin-boosting travel tip: According to a UNICEF report, 85 percent of Dutch children eat breakfast with their parents every morning (a sign of positive well-being). Even though you may be past the age of sitting down to a meal in front of school, you can still enjoy a classic Dutch breakfast while visiting the Netherlands: typically a slice of bread topped with appelstroop, jam, or a sprinkling of hagelslag.

Netherlands

4. Switzerland

Switzerland (which dropped one place this year) is a country that votes on everything from how many vacation days workers should have to how many immigrants should be allowed into the country, and referendums down to the local level are held many times a year . This system of direct democracy means that Swiss citizens feel a unique sense of participation in the development of their country. The Swiss are known to be insular and this can be off-putting for first-time visitors, but there is a strong social fabric held together by the belief that every voice matters, which can lead to a sense of contentment.

Endorphin-boosting travel tip: According to research from University College London, eating a small amount of dark chocolate can lead to a significant reduction in symptoms of depression – and where better to shop for chocolate than in Switzerland? Try a 99 percent cocoa bar at the Teuscher headquarters in Zurich or hop on the train to Broc and visit the renowned Cailler-Nestle chocolate factory and shop.

Switzerland

3. Iceland

Iceland tops the list when it comes to the proportion of respondents who say they feel they have a fellow citizen they can rely on when the going gets tough. This was probably most clearly manifested as a result of the country’s financial collapse after 2007 and the subsequent revitalization. You’d think that the constant flood of American tourists to Reykjavík might have taken a hit on the residents’ happiness – it must be a little harder to get a dinner reservation than it used to be – but when it comes to chilling out, Icelanders have no qualms. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they can always escape from the city to the countryside that looks like another planet.

Endorphin-Boosting Travel Tip: In a small country like Iceland, it’s easy to socialize with your friends and family—a huge contributing factor to overall happiness. Immerse yourself in this close-knit culture by joining an Icelandic family and enjoying a home-cooked meal, which can be easily done through several travel agencies. Creative Island offers a similar deal in Reykjavík, while Viator has an option in the fishing town of Hofn.

Iceland

2. Denmark

Denmark remained in second place this year. The country ranks near the top in every metric reported—life expectancy, social support, and generosity among them—but it’s also a country heavily committed to renewable energy generation (39.1 percent of its energy was generated by wind in 2014) . A recent study from the Copenhagen Institute for Happiness Research (whose existence is probably reason enough for the top spot) narrows Danish happiness down to a number of different categories, including trust in government, economic security, freedom, civic participation and work. -life balance.

Endorphin-boosting travel tip: Socio-economic factors aside, a country’s happiness surely comes in part from respect for the planet it’s built on. To get a sense of the “at one with nature” mentality, visit Denmark in the summer and stay at a traditional Danish seaside inn. After a few days of cycling along the coast, eating fresh mussels and homemade sourdough, and looking out over the Baltic Sea from a shaded hammock, you can’t help but feel a little happier.

Denmark

1. Finland

For the fifth year running, Finland is number one when it comes to happiness. The country consistently ranks among the best education systems in the world, occasionally beaten by countries such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Much of this success comes from widespread respect for teachers, who are required to have a master’s degree (their education is funded by the state) and an education system that focuses less on quantitative testing and more on experiential learning and equal opportunity.      

Endorphin-Boosting Travel Tip: Winter swimming is an extremely popular activity in Finland, with citizens claiming to get a huge rush of happiness and re-circulation once they’re back on dry land. It’s certainly an acquired taste, but the serotonin and dopamine boost could be worth it.

Finland

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