Where you live partially determines your chance of a living a happy life. The residents of these countries are living the "good life" according to their self-reported happiness levels. The "World Happiness Report" is an annual study which determines the overall happiness of the people who live in each of the 156 countries reviewed. The report is based on a three year average of surveys taken by residents which include questions related to GDP, life expectancy, family life, friendships, perceived freedom, and emotional life. Here are the results of the report, and an explanation of what in particular makes these ten countries the happiest in the world.


1. Finland

Finland is the happiest country in the world according to the "World Happiness Report." This Northern European country sports long, cold winters which probably contributes to the unusually high happiness of its residents. According to professor John Helliwell, a Canadian economist, a group of people who face challenges together, in this case, the difficult winters, form much closer relationships. These more intense, deeper relationships foster happier people.

Residents of Finland benefit from a high GDP, excellent social programs such as free or low-cost higher education, and a high life expectancy. Finish people also have lower expectations for happiness which makes them more content with less. A combination of these factors makes Finland the happiest country in the world.

happiest country in the world people Tim Graham / Getty Images


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