Most recently, I delved into the World Happiness Report. This is study that looks at which country is the happiest.
The way we talk about success and happiness is shifting according to the findings of the World Happiness Report. It gives us valuable glimpses into how people all throughout the world feel about the standard of living they enjoy.
Each year since 2002, the World Happiness Report has used data science to compile a list of the countries where people report the highest levels of happiness with life.
A total of 149 countries’ worth of Gallup polling data was evaluated over the course of three years for this study, with a focus on how each country performed in six key areas:
- Gross domestic product per capita,
- Social support,
- Healthy life expectancy,
- Freedom to make your own life choices,
- Generosity of the general population, and
- Perceptions of internal and external corruption levels.
For the fourth year in a row, Finland has taken the top spot, with an overall score of 7.842, followed [in order] by Denmark [7.620], Switzerland [7.571], Iceland [7.554], the Netherlands [7.464], Norway [7.392], and Sweden [7.363].
7 out of the 10 happiest countries tend to be in Northern Europe.
What do they have that other countries don’t.
It turns out, it’s not what they have, it’s what they don’t have, mainly there is an absence of fear.
Because there is a robust social safety net in these Nordic countries, there is a high quality of education and everyone has access to quality health care at prices that are relatively affordable without the risk of going bankrupt.
Additionally, there are no incidents of widespread gun violence in these countries, which results in a reduced level of fear.
Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland [together referred to as “NORDIC”] are proving once again that fame and fortune aren’t necessary in order to be happy.
In Africa, the top 5 happy countries are Mauritius [6.049], Libya [5.410], The Republic of the Congo [5.342], Ivory Coast [5.306], and Cameroon [5.142], Senegal [5.132], Ghana [5.088], Niger [5.074], Gambia [5.051] and Benin [5.045].
Once again countries that are not necessarily considered glamorous or high-profile score highly on the happiness index. This shows that happiness is not necessarily tied to wealth, fame, or material success.
Instead, happiness is often associated with factors such as strong social support systems, low levels of corruption, good governance, freedom to make life choices, and a sense of purpose or fulfilment in life.
These factors can be found in many countries, regardless of their level of wealth or global prominence.
According to my interpretation of this index, a key component of a happy life is peace, less drama nje and the availability of stable, high-quality social services.
Personally, I found that when I switched from listening to talk radio [people complaining about politicians] to listening to music radio, my mood improved. Less drama and a lot more music.
Mauritius is a relatively peaceful country, has a strong economy and a high standard of living, with low levels of poverty and unemployment.
It is also known for its stunning natural beauty, with stunning beaches, forests, and mountains, which provide opportunities for recreation and leisure activities.
It was Mark Twain who said this about Mauritius in his book: Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World:
“Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.”
I guess there is only one way to find out what Mark Twain was talking 🙂
PS: It is worth noting that happiness is subjective and can vary greatly from person to person, and country rankings may change from year to year.