The World's Happiest Countries

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 01/22/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I WANT TO MOVE TO NORWAY OR AUSTRALIA...HUMMMMM

Think about it for a minute: What does happiness mean to you?



For most, being happy starts with having enough money to do what you want and buy what you want. A nice home, food, clothes, car, leisure. All within reason.



See the full list of The World's 10 Happiest Countries



The Top 5 Happiest countries in the World



1. Norway

2. Denmark

3. Finland

4. Australia

5. New Zealand



But happiness is much more than money. It's being healthy, free from pain, being able to take care of yourself. It's having good times with friends and family.



Furthermore, happiness means being able to speak what's on your mind without fear, to worship the God of your choosing, and to feel safe and secure in your own home.



Happiness means having opportunity--to get an education, to be an entrepreneur. What's more satisfying than having a big idea and turning it into a thriving business, knowing all the way that the harder you work, the more reward you can expect?



With this in mind, five years ago researchers at the Legatum Institute, a London-based nonpartisan think tank, set out to rank the happiest countries in the world. But because "happy" carries too much of a touchy-feely connotation, they call it "prosperity."



Legatum recently completed its 2010 Prosperity Index, which ranks 110 countries, covering 90% of the world's population.



To build its index Legatum gathers upward of a dozen international surveys done by the likes of the Gallup polling group, the Heritage Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Each country is ranked on 89 variables sorted into eight subsections: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.



The core conceit: Prosperity is complex; achieving it relies on a confluence of factors that build on each other in a virtuous circle.



Ultimately how happy you are depends on how happy you've been. If you're already rich, like Scandinavia, then more freedom, security and health would add the most to happiness. For the likes of China and India (ranked 88th), it's more a case of "show me the money." What they want most of all? The opportunity to prove to themselves that money doesn't buy happiness.



. 5: New Zealand
With very high levels of social cohesion and a first-place ranking in education, New Zealanders trust and help each other. The country ranks first in civil liberties. Ninety-four percent found the beauty of their physical environment satisfying (the other 6% must be blind).



Citizens of Australia trust their government.
ThinkstockNo. 4: Australia
Excellent education, strong personal freedoms, a tight-knit society. Australia's economy is strong, led by raw materials exports, but it's also a good place to start a business, with plentiful Internet connectivity and low startup costs. Aussies trust their government.



Low business startup costs give the Finns economic strength.
ThinkstockNo. 3: Finland
Excellent education, universal health care, plentiful personal freedoms, trusted government, peaceful. Lots of R&D and low business startup costs give the Finns economic strength. But as is to be expected in a country with the highest redistribution of wealth, only 75% of Finns believe working hard will help them get ahead.



Denmark reports the highest standard of living in the world.
ThinkstockNo. 2: Denmark
The world's lowest business startup costs, excellent education, unrestricted civil freedoms. Danes have overwhelming faith in their government and in each other, and report the highest standard of living in the world.



In Norway, an unparalleled 74% say other people can be trusted.
Alexandre Dulaunoy/FlickrNo. 1: Norway
The world's highest per-capita GDP at $53,000 a year. Spending on health care is second-highest after the U.S. An unparalleled 74% of Norwegians say other people can be trusted, 94% are happy with the beauty of their environment, and a very high 93% believe hard work will help them get ahead in life. Having a lot of oil and gas reserves helps.

30 Comments

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[deleted account]

We're looking at around Brisbane. That's where we have friends and my hubby's in the construction ndustry so he has a lot of job offers for companies cleaning up after the floods - doing good work and getting paid!

[deleted account]

I think Canada seems the most like Australia So that probably where i'd go.
I'm happy in Aus though but i'm not happy in the town i live in now.
Holly, Where about in Australia are you guys moving to?

[deleted account]

I spent 2 weeks in New Zealand when I was 16 and I have wanted to go back ever since... My hubby and I are actually trying to move to Australia on a work visa for the next 2 years - lots of paperwork, but we're almost there!!!

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2011

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i'm trying to convince my husband that we need to move to australia...he likes the idea of new zealand better, though. both are awesome.

LaCi - posted on 01/23/2011

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"I'd love to check out Europe or something but from some of the threads on here the USA sounds like a third world country. "

lol

I wouldn't say its THAT bad. You might want to avoid chicago since it made the *most dangerous neighborhood* list like 5 times-which was 20% of the list (Still a great city), but for the most part it's not that freakin' bad here, aside from politics.

Jenny - posted on 01/23/2011

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Loureen, I hate you.

*grabs figure skates and tromps off into the snow to find her dog sled to go to the poutine store

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

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My Nanna recently traveled by boat around or through ? Canada and Alaska , her photos are simply stunning and she went to Nova Scotia , she got a T shirt from there for Cooper !

Krista - posted on 01/23/2011

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I second Julianne's suggestion. Cape Breton Island is definitely one of the most gorgeous places in the world. It's breathtaking.

And yeah, parts of Canada can be very cold, but it tends to be milder on the coasts. Right now in Nova Scotia, we're in the dead of winter, so it's pretty cold out. But we have some winters that tend to be milder and rainier. And we can definitely get hot weather! My baby was born during a heat wave -- it was 32 Celsius + humidity the day he was born, if I recall correctly.

[deleted account]

Canada is warm in the summer time....Vancouver is the warmest, it only snows there 2-3 times a year apparently.

Where i grew up it goes up to 30ish during heat waves, it feels warmer than that though. Cape Breton Island is huge for tourism, I loved growing up there. Its so beautiful, i would suggest it to anyone wanting to visit Canada.

Stifler's - posted on 01/23/2011

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I'd love to check out Europe or something but from some of the threads on here the USA sounds like a third world country. Canada is a popular place for Aussies to go but I'm not that interested it sounds cold. I love the 40 degree heat.

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

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Ive been around but there is no where else I would rather live than the land of Oz.

Stifler's - posted on 01/23/2011

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I love Australia. I'm actually kind of scared to go to another country.

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

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Well I am happy , I spent the day at the beach then noshing on Seared scallops , balmain bug( cross between a lobster , crab and prawn ) salad with roasted beetroot , walnuts , asparagus and a tomato and dill dressing topped off with ice cold Sangria's.....BLISS .

Tomorrow off to the beach again to take my little man for a paddle on the surfboard .

Isobel - posted on 01/23/2011

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I have to admit...given the choice, I do believe I would gravitate towards being a kiwi.

Becky - posted on 01/23/2011

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My background is Danish. I've been over there to visit and it is a beautiful country. So clean! I'd be quite happy to live there, except that being so far north, their days are even shorter in the winter than ours are!

[deleted account]

Woohoo!! I am from NZ, and have also lived in aussie. I can totally see why they are in the top 5! Beautiful countries, beautiful people and beautiful society! (i have lived in other countries too so I do have comparison!)

[deleted account]

It seems like its....unnatural...something you would see in the ninja turtles..i want one.



Pygmy Possum!!! those things are soo cute :D

[deleted account]

platypus is a fuzzy duck LOL

woah poisonous snakes...i like snakes, but not wild ones that can kill me :S

[deleted account]

well they are still cool,
A friend of mine said Kangaroos are like rats to us, everyone hates them because their everywhere and get into stuff. I don't see why, they're cool as anything. Koala bear?? hurm they are a wombat..still cute....
the coolest thing here is moose raccoons and beavers, Ive seen my fair share of those.

Charlie - posted on 01/22/2011

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Ahem*

Kangaroos are marsupials not rodents , Koalas are not bears come on over I will show you , the roos are everywhere !! the Koalas are a little harder to see in the wild down here but there are lots up north and boy they are noisy :)

Krista - posted on 01/22/2011

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I think if I didn't live in Canada, New Zealand would be my pick. It looks like it's incredibly gorgeous, and my husband tells me that the people there are very similar to Canadians in their outlook and attitudes, so I'd probably feel very comfortable there.

[deleted account]

I would LOVE to go to Australia. a friend of mine went there and hitch hiked around for a year. Awesome stories she came back with.
Plus everything is backwards there to me, even the animals, tiny bears that live in trees, giant 6ft tall rodents, woo i would love to see them in their natural habitat.

I love Canada, but its flippin cold out!!!

Bonnie - posted on 01/22/2011

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If I moved to any one of those 5 countries, I wouldn't have any friends or family (other than my husband and kids) there, so I probably wouldn't be truly happy for quite awhile.

Jenny - posted on 01/22/2011

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I was so close to moving to Australia. Someday.

It is my dream to move around the world with my kids and them getting an international education.

Charlie - posted on 01/22/2011

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yay for Aussies.

Excellent education, strong personal freedoms, a tight-knit society. Australia's economy is strong, led by raw materials exports, but it's also a good place to start a business, with plentiful Internet connectivity and low startup costs. Aussies trust their government.

I say they are all important aspects and then there is personal happiness through being thankful and content .

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