Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#9. Austria

Coming in at number nine is the European nation of Austria, famed for world-class architecture, dreamy landscapes with rolling hills and pristine lakes, and PRETZELS. Delicious, warm, fluffy pretzels. From skiing to classical opera in Vienna, there’s so much to do and see in this magical land. It’s no wonder the Austrians are smiling from ear to ear.

#8. New Zealand

Home to 4 million people (and 30 million sheep), for the second year running New Zealand maintains the eighth spot in the survey. Kiwis take their happiness seriously and are quick to spring into action when something threatens it. After a mass shooting last year left 51 people dead at two mosques in Christchurch, it only took the government six days to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons. A few months later, the center-left coalition led by prime minister Jacinda Ardern launched the first "Wellbeing Budget" in the history of policymaking, which aimed at ensuring that objectives such as improving housing, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing child poverty were considered as equally important as fiscal matters in budgetary decisions.

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#7. Sweden

Sweden combines incredible natural sites like glaciers and deep-blue archipelagos with a cosmopolitan capital in Stockholm, providing the best of both worlds on the report’s happiness index. The Swedes also have one of the best welfare systems in the world, receiving benefits such as subsidised prenatal care, 480 days of paid leave when a child is born or adopted and plenty of other healthcare benefits.

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#6. Netherlands

Despite slipping one spot lower in this year’s ranking, people in the Netherlands still have few reasons to complain. The Dutch are more affluent, educated and freer to make their own life choices than at any point in their country’s history. They are so content with their way of living that they eradicated teenage angst: according to a research by the national statistics office CBS, 94% of youngsters between the age of 12 and 18 claim to be very happy with their lives.

But isn't the whole country at constant risk of being swallowed up by rising seas because it is below sea level? Not at all—while rising sea levels caused by global warming are certainly a concern, only 26% of the land and 21% of the population are located below sea level. In addition, the country is protected from flooding and storm surges by an extensive and sophisticated series of walls, dikes, dams, floodgates, drainage ditches, canals, and pumping stations.

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#5. Norway

Formerly named ‘the happiest country’ in 2017, Norway came in close behind some of its other Nordic counterparts in 2020. There’s so much to love about this European country, but what often strikes us most is its diverse landscape. A drive through Norway is a constant surprise, with rugged landscapes and sophisticated cities aplenty. Like the rest of the nations on this list, Norway is also known for a stellar standard of living, including an impeccable welfare system and a sense of contentment with ‘less’ (AKA a love for the simple life).

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#4. Iceland

Iceland routinely tops a wide variety of quality of life rankings. Chosen by both the World Economic Forum as the best country in the world for gender equality and the Institute for Economics and Peace as the most peaceful country for more than 10 years in a row, it is one of the most environmentally-friendly too.

Iceland also has the highest per capita publication of books: 10% of its residents will write one in their lifetime. Iceland maintains for the second year in a row the fourth position in the happiness ranking. With its enchanting landscapes, low taxes and free healthcare and education, it is no surprise that it is so close to the top of the UN index.

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#3. Switzerland

Back in 2015, Switzerland was named the happiest country in the world! Dropping somewhat behind, the Scandinavian country is still one of the most joyous places on earth. Switzerland is famous for its natural beauty with the Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva, the Eiger and the Matterhorn. Considering the report’s suggestion that there’s a direct link between green spaces and happiness, it makes a lot of sense to see this beautiful nation at number three. Plus, it’s the home of chocolate. What’s not to love?

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#2. Denmark

Coming in runner-up for the second year in a row, Denmark topped the list in the first report, in 2012, and again in 2013 and 2016. Nordic countries, the authors of the report have noted, share similar social and political models and values. That explains why all of them feature among the 10 happiest nations in the world and why they often swap places on the happiness podium. Danes have plenty of reasons to rejoice: their country scores high when it comes to work-life balance, environment and healthcare. It also boasts a 100% literacy rate and one of the smallest wealth gaps in the world.

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020

#1. Finland

And in news that should surprise absolutely no one… Finland has once again been named the happiest country in the world to live in! This is the third year in a row that the Finnish have taken the top spot, with the nation’s people reporting a strong satisfaction with life and confidence that they live in a place where people take care of one another. In particular, Helsinki was also noted as the happiest city in the world.

We’ve long loved this land of excitement and wild beauty. Whether it’s skiing or snowboarding at resorts like Levi, Ruka and Saariselkä, trekking in the Riisitunturi National Park, or trying local cuisine in Helsinki, there are so many different sites to interest all travellers.

Global Finance Magazine   The Happiest Countries In The World 2020
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