What makes people live happy lives? Is it money, the climate they live in, or the food they eat?
While there’s evidence that the latter can affect one’s mood, happiness depends on much more than that, according to the third World Happiness Report.
The report published in 2015 by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network lists the happiest countries in the world while examining six big factors – GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity, and the absence of corruption.
It explains, “there is much evidence that those who have happier lives are likely to live longer, to be more trusting, more cooperative, and generally better able to meet life’s demands.”
Additionally, several big leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, are “talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations.”
Below are the top 15 happiest countries in the world as listed in the World Happiness Report. Some of these are definitely worth a visit!
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15. United States
The U.S. may not compare to other countries in terms of health care, but it’s still considered the land of opportunity! There’s also tons of places to see like New York’s Statue of Liberty (above), the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and Walt Disney World in Florida.
This might surprise some people, but citizens in this warm country say they live satisfying lives. If you plan to visit, don’t forget to go to Chichen Itza – one of the new seven wonders of the world.
This European country is very safe and has natural beauty (the Austrian Alps). It’s also a great place for someone who loves the arts, as it’s home to the Vienna State Opera.
12. Costa Rica
Perhaps it’s the beautiful walks through nature and great weather, but this is definitely the place to be! There’s the Samara Trails, Curi Cancha Reserve, and La Fortuna Waterfall.
According to author Giulio Meotti, Israelis are happy “because their country has a history of scintillating enlightenment, with the highest production of scientific publications per capita in the world, more museums per capita and the highest worldwide publication of new books.” While you’re there, make sure to check out the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
Melbourne was named the world’s best city to live in with regard to “crime levels, threat of conflict, quality of medical care, levels of censorship, temperature, schools and transport links.” Book a trip with Virgin Australia Airlines and go visit Uluru and all the famous coral reefs.
9. New Zealand
The landscape in New Zealand is unlike no other and you’re never too far from the sea. I mean, with the Abel Tasman National Park and Lake Wanaka…need I say more?