The UN’s ‘World Happiness Report‘ just dropped and it has some opinions about who’s happy around the world and who’s, decidedly, not. The report fleshes out data drawn from Gallop International surveys about happiness. Gallop uses a metric called the Cantril scale where survey-takers are asked to scale their happiness from zero to ten — ten being the happiest. The report then squares this against each country’s GDP (per capita), social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and the society’s generosity.
Not surprisingly, social democracies reigned supreme for overall happiness. Those are the countries with low to nill violent crime, great education and health care, solid social services and safety, and overall openness. The report also notes that citizens of these happy countries are totally cool with paying higher taxes to have all those benefits from their society. It probably helps the happiness to know and see where your tax dollars are going as well.
The report also indexed migrant life and happiness around the world. What they found was fascinating. Turns out people in happy countries are also cool with migrants coming there to find a better life. “Happiness can change, and does change, according to the quality of the society in which people live,” the report states. “The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives.” It seems that seeing other people find success makes everyone a bit happier.
Overall, the top ten countries of this year’s ‘World Happiness Report‘ were the ones you hear about year after year. It leans heavily towards Scandinavia and Alpine Europe with three former British colonies rounding out the list. And, given the extreme weather that the Scandinavian and Alpine countries endure every single winter, they must be doing something right for people to still be so happy in the face of all that cold, right?
Let’s take a look at what the top ten has to offer.
@stevebram in the #greenroom at Claustral Canyon! 📸 by @jakeandersonphotography •• •• #claustralcanyon #australia #newsouthwales #tourismnewsouthwales #bluemountains #travelphotography #adventureseeker #adventurevisuals #adventuretime #adventurelife #adventuretravel #travelphotography #adventurephotography
The magical land of Oz rounds out the list nicely with a 7.272 out of ten on the happiness index. That’s pretty happy. The combination of stunning weather must help people enjoy the decent social systems and good food. Though, chances of killer crocs and poisonous snakes have to count against Australia for something, right?
Nah, it’s still rad down under.
Holy mackerel – we've never seen Barron Falls looking quite like this! 💦 Record rainfall in @tropicalnorthqueensland has resulted in a formidable torrent of water raging over the famous falls in #Kuranda, near Cairns. It's currently the wet season in this part of @queensland so excess rainfall isn't unusual, but to see Barron Falls flowing as they are in this photo is quite an extraordinary sight. Have your camera at the ready! Photo: @_sarahlatham #seeaustralia #thisisqueensland #exploretnq #barronfalls #waterfall #nature #travel
Sorry but we're a tad busy right now, floating around in the #ChampagnePools on @visitfraserisland 💦 These blissfully beautiful natural ocean pools are the perfect place to cool off if you're visiting this island in @queensland's @visitfrasercoast, where the beaches can be quite rough. #FraserIsland is also home to 40 freshwater perched lakes, most notably the famous #LakeMcKenzie, which also make excellent swimming spots on a warm day. Photo: @veronicawarde #seeaustralia #thisisqueensland #visitfrasercoast #visitfraserisland #travel