The 7 Happiest Countries on Earth
The 7 Happiest Countries on Earth
Chances are you don't live in a war zone, live in constant fear for your safety or wonder where your next meal will come from - if you do, put down the laptop you are reading this on, sell it and buy some food.
However, chances are you don't live in one of the happiest countries on Earth either, a very select few countries where, amazingly, people are not only happy, but healthy, safe and loving life.
You won't hear about them on the news, because nothing bad ever happens, and you won't hear people from these countries boasting about how great their lives are, because to them it is just life as usual.
But for the rest of us, they live in an ideal world where they are free to pursue their dreams, work hard and know their governments will provide for them. So where are these magical countries? Not surprisingly, many of them are next door neighbors with each other, let's take a look.
Let's start off with a country many call the gem of Europe, which is a phrase I completely just made up, however I wouldn't be surprised if it has been used before. Nestled right between Italy, Austria, France and Germany, this small country makes up for what it lacks in size in sheer beauty and a standard of living which is almost unparalleled in the rest of the world.
The capitol of Berne is a perfect European city and the old town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for goodness sake. The mountains are stunning, waters crystal clear and they make arguably the best chocolate in the world, so it is easy to see why their citizens are constantly smiling and among the happiest on Earth.
Ok, I need to be honest here, Finland might just be my favorite country on Earth - I had trouble not putting it first on the list. I have never been to a more ideal utopia of a society, much of which comes from the governments of most Scandinavian countries making it a priority to give their citizens the healthy and happy lives that all humans deserve - imagine, a government actually putting the people first!
Finland has a high tax rate, like many of its neighbors, but the people couldn't care less. Pay 9euros for a beer? Sounds expensive at first, but knowing your kids are getting an amazing FREE education, are safe to walk around the streets and treated for free by the best doctors in the country and it isn't so bad. And let's not even mention the beauty, good God its a stunning country.
Canada is a sneaky one on this list, because they have slid into this almost without the notice of anyone in the world. When you think of the happiest countries on Earth, many people will go straight to Europe, but Canada has done something America has yet to accomplish - giving their citizens a happy and healthy life. The US always boasts it is the biggest and bestest while Canada is happy to sit in the shadow of American and quietly give its citizens free healthcare, safe neighborhoods and cities, allow gay marriage, offer world class healthcare to all and make sure guns aren't killing any of their citizens.
Sounds too good to be true huh? Next time you have that fantasy of being an American, think twice and set your sights on its neighbor to the north instead, you'll be much happier.
Denmark might be one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, but when it comes to happiness does it really matter as long as you can live your life and want for nothing? It's not a surprise that people in Scandinavia sometimes live a shocking 30% longer than the rest of us idiots, they know a thing or two about what really matters.
After living in nothing but hot, hot climates for the last decade, nothing would make me happier than a country with proper seasons, something Denmark has in spades. If you still aren't convinced, there is even a word in Danish, hygge, which doesn't even translate to other languages but basically means "coziness" in physical comfort, food, family and community - amazing.
By now you've realized that any country in Northern Europe is going to greet you with smiles so it is no surprise that Sweden makes this list too. Between the elderberry juice, Swedish meatballs and beautiful women, its not shocker why people in Sweden are so darn happy.
If that doesn't convince you than there is only one more thing to say; IKEA. That's right, if the people who in live in the country who produces more shit furniture than anywhere else in the world can be happy (imagine smiling the last time you tried to put together a "Jofflgruten" table with one screw missing), than any of us can.
6. New Zealand
Finally leaving Scandinavia, we've made our way all the way south to New Zealand. While Australia is also on the list of happiest countries on Earth, New Zealand is just a little more special. Without all the tourists and fanfare that its brother to the north receives, New Zealand relies on its stunning natural beauty, kind people, and endless hospitality to make it one of the happiest countries on Earth - not to mention being home to the Lord of the Rings set - yes, "Hobbiton" is actually real.
Seems there is a theme here - countries with stunning natural beauty hours and hours away from the US are the happiest... interesting.
Now we couldn't complete this list without at least adding a country in Western Europe and there are few better than Holland. For me, an ignorant American who only speak English, Holland gives me the opportunity to travel freely without having to be reminded by a local every 5 minutes that I don't speak another language.
Again, stunning natural beauty, a government that truly cares for its citizens and something about everyone riding around on bikes, makes Holland one of the happiest countries on Earth - at least in Europe. While it would be easy to blame it on the weed that everyone is smoking, if you've been lucky enough to visit Holland you know it is something way more special that makes this country so great.
If you are traveling through this year, make sure to be there in September, when Holland will celebrate its 200th birthday as a Kingdom - finally escaping from those pesky French in 1815. Didn't see the France on this list did you?
Well there you have it, the 7 happiest countries on Earth. Have you been to any? Any you would add? Where are the worst countries on Earth? Tell us below in the comments!