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The Happiest people in Countries Report


1. Switzerland

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Switzerland, this year’s happiest country, ranks above average in subjective well-being, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, health status, social connections, environmental quality, education and skills, and personal security. There’s also a strong sense of community in Switzerland, where 96 percent of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need. The latter is the highest figure in the OECD, tied with #2 Iceland. Capital: Bern

2. Iceland

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According to the Better Life Index, Iceland ranks at the top in jobs and earnings, and above average in social connections, subjective well-being, health status, environmental quality, personal security, civic engagement, and education and skills. Icelanders also measure among the highest in general satisfaction with life, rating an average of 7.5 on a 10 points scale, which is one of the highest scores in the OECD where the average is 6.6 Capital: Reykjavik

3. Denmark

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Denmark takes the third spot this year. The top country in work-life balance, with only two percent of employees reporting working very long hours, Denmark also ranks above average in environmental quality, civic engagement, education and skills, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, and personal security. Queen: Margrethe II of Denmark Capital: Copenhagen

4. Norway

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Norway is a well-rounded country, rating well in almost all the dimensions measured, with strong civic engagement, good social connections, environmental quality, housing, work-life balance, and more. A higher than average 82 percent of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education.

5. Canada

Canadians are healthy and happy. With 89 percent of people reporting being in good health—much higher than the OECD average of 69 percent—Canada is among the five happiest countries in the world.
Capital: Ottawa
Prime minister: Justin Trudeau
Governor-general: David Johnston

6. Finland

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Finland rates well in subjective well-being, civic engagement, environmental quality, housing, work-life balance, and social connections. The country also places a strong emphasis on education. The average student scored 529 in reading literacy, math and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is significantly higher than the OECD average of 497.

7. Netherlands

The Netherlands ranks above the average in work-life balance, jobs and earnings, housing, income and wealth, education, subjective well-being, health, and social connections. The country also has a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation. Capital: Amsterdam


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The top ranking country in environmental quality, Sweden also ranks above average in education, work-life balance health status, jobs, and housing. People in Sweden are living increasingly longer. The average life span is now 83.7 years for women and 80.1 years for men. This can be attributed in part to falling mortality rates from heart attacks and strokes. Capital: Stockholm King Carl XVI Gustaf

9. New Zealand

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New Zealand scored the highest in health with considerably lower than average tiny air pollutant particles (10.8 micrograms per cubic meter vs. the OECD average of 20.1), and 89 percent of whose citizens report being satisfied with the quality of their water. Capital: Wellington


10. Australia

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Australia ranked at the top in civic engagement and above average in environmental quality. 92 percent of people believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need. Capital: Canberra Prime minister: Malcolm Turnbull Governor-general: Peter Cosgrove
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