The Most Livable Countries In The World

Happiness is a difficult thing to measure, but one initiative at the United Nations has been trying to figure it out. Around 1,000 people in each U.N. member state rate their quality of life on a scale from 0 to 10, while researchers cull 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 was just released, and while the results follow previous trends (every Nordic country made the cut), the list is a little more interesting because of COVID-19. The report paid special attention to evaluate how different governments have supported citizens’ happiness before, during, and likely after the pandemic.
10. Austria.

Forcing its almost-namesake Australia out of the top ten, Austria scored particularly highly in social support and its citizens’ freedom and was no doubt helped by its capital Vienna – now widely regarded to be the world’s most liveable city according to the Global Liveability Index (coincidentally also forcing out another Australian asset, Melbourne).
9. Canada.

The world’s second biggest country still ranks high across pretty much every category with great life expectancy married to a still small population with more than enough room to spread out and find their own corner of paradise.
8. New Zealand.

New Zealand has had one of the lowest rates of COVID-related deaths during the pandemic, cementing its spot in the top ten. Even without that time stamp, Kiwis are a famously happy and friendly bunch, which stems from satisfaction in both the workplace and social spheres. Having a Prime Minister who prioritizes emotional and mental growth certainly doesn’t hurt, either: In 2019, Jacinda Ardern introduced a Wellbeing Budget, which allocated billions of dollars towards initiatives like bolstering mental health, reducing child poverty, and supporting the Māori and Pasifika populations.
7. Sweden.

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

Switzerland (which dropped one spot this year) is a country where everything is voted on, 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 happen many times a year. This system of direct democracy means that Swiss citizens feel an unparalleled sense of participation in their country’s evolution. The Swiss are known to be insular, and it can be off-putting to first-time visitors, but there is a strong social fabric held together by a belief that every voice matters, which can go a long way toward feeling content.
5. Netherlands.

The biggest stat from the Netherlands this year? That its happiness levels have barely changed (we’re talking less than 0.03 percent) between 2005 and 2021. And in the Netherlands, it turns out, happiness starts young. A 2013 UNICEF report rated Dutch children the happiest in the world, based on a number of metrics related to educational well-being, safety, and health.
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Video resource: Around The World

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