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World’s Happiest Countries ranking

Posted by editor On July - 4 - 2008

I read this article in BusinessWeek on world’s happiest countries.

A recent study from Britain’s University of Leicester examined a range
of statistical data to devise a ranking of the world’s happiest
nations. Heading up the list: Denmark, which rose to the top thanks to its
wealth, natural beauty, small size, quality education, and good health
care
.

Here’s a surprise: The small Asian nation of Bhutan ranks eighth in the
world, despite relatively low life expectancy, a literacy rate of just
47%, and a very low GDP per capita. Why? Researchers credit an
unusually strong sense of national identity. Plus, the country has
beautiful scenery and a largely unspoiled culture, thanks to strict
governmental limits on tourism, development, and immigration. Pretty
counterintuitive, but Bhutan seems to have found a recipe for
happiness.

On Finland, #6 in the list of happiest countries:
High quality medical care — at little to no cost — contributes to the
country’s high average life expectancy. The country’s free educational
system is one of the best, resulting in a 100% literacy rate. Poverty
is rare; so too, is extreme wealth. “Our beloved government makes sure
that taxes are high enough to prevent easy ways to riches,” says Jaakko
Lehtonen, director-general of the Finnish Tourism Board. “Finns think a
good salary is two cents higher than your neighbor’s; it’s enough to
make you feel wealthy and subsequently, happy,”

It is interesting to note that many of the countries in the top 10 actually have universal health care for their citizens. Moreover, it seems that high tax rate does not prevent many of these citizens from becoming happy, as long as the government takes care of its people well…

Rank of world’s happiest countries:

  1. Denmark
  2. Switzerland
  3. Austria
  4. Iceland
  5. Bahamas
  6. Finland
  7. Sweden
  8. Bhutan ( One of two Asian countries in top 10 list)
  9. Brunei ( One of two Asian countries in top 10 list)
  10. Canada
  11. Ireland
  12. Luxembourg

USA is #23.

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One Response to “World’s Happiest Countries ranking”

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