The 15 Happiest Countries in the World

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Elizabeth Parkhomchuk /

If you’re happy and you know it, you may live in Norway — or Denmark or Iceland, two of its Nordic neighbors.

Those Nordic nations earned the top spots in the new World Happiness Report for 2017, an annual report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network — a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012 — and funded by the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general, says in an interview with Reuters:

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government.”

Although Nordic nations have repeatedly fared well on the report rankings, the U.S. hasn’t enjoyed the same level of happiness success. The report explains:

The USA is a story of reduced happiness. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2016 it came 19th. The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption, and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better.

According to the report, here are the 15 happiest nations in the world:

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Switzerland
  5. Finland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Australia
  10. Sweden
  11. Israel
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Austria
  14. U.S.
  15. Ireland

Are you searching for ways to live a happier, more fulfilling life? Join the club. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson says it’s all about striking the right balance:

Enjoy your life to the fullest every day — live like you’re going to die tomorrow. But since you’re probably not going to die tomorrow, plant part of your money in quality stocks, real estate or other investments; then hold on to them.

For more tips, check out “The 10 Commandments of Wealth and Happiness.”

What do you think of the happiness rankings? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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