My parents always told me that success is measured by happiness. I do believe this is true and a good value to live by. No matter what you do in life it’s almost impossible to be successful if you’re unhappy. Happiness is something I am striving to find more of and as I have gotten older, I have come to the realization that life is hard and people focus on the negative more than the positive. I recently learned in my Intimate Relationships class this semester that it take 5 positives to outweigh 1 negative in a relationship or any aspect of life.
I was interested in finding out which countries in the world were the happiest (and saddest) and why. So I did some research. I was lucky to find some really up-to-date statistics posted on April 23, 2015 on a website called MindBodyGreen.com. The post is by Emi Boscamp, an associate editor at MindBodyGreen.com who graduated from Cornell.
The study was done by a group of international and national economists, neuroscientists and statisticians. They call their study “The World Happiness Report” and this is their third time performing the study. Based on their research, as a team, they came to the conclusion that the Swiss are the world’s happiest people. They based their data and rankings off of what they call “four main factors”. According to MindBodyGreen.com, these factors are “Sustained positive emotion, Recovery from Negative Emotion, Pro-Social behavior and generosity, and Mind wandering, mindfulness and ‘affective stickiness’ or emotion captured attention.”
This time around the research team was able to change their study by breaking down their data based on gender, age and region and they found “surprisingly big differences between these demographics” than ever before.
So…… according to MindBodyGreen.com here is the 2015 list of the top 20 happiest countries in the world:
1. Switzerland 2. Iceland 3. Denmark 4. Norway 5. Canada 6. Finland
7. Netherlands 8. Sweden 9. New Zealand 10. Australia 11. Israel 12. Costa Rica
13. Austria 14.Mexico 15. United States 16. Brazil 17. Luxembourg 18. Ireland
19. Belgium 20. United Arab Emirates
Unfortunately, MindBodyGreen.com did not include WHY these countries were ranked the happiest in the world, so I looked at previous years of the world’s happiest countries on Forbes.com because their website gave a more detailed evaluation.
I chose three countries from the top 20 list of the “World’s Happiest Countries” to explain why they were ranked.
According to Forbes.com… I chose…
…Switzerland because it is ranked #1 on the list. This is due to their country being “number 1 in governance, 2nd in health and economy and sticking with the Franc rather than going Euro has helped make Switzerland a bastion of stability in shaky Europe right now.”
…Norway because my great, great grandfather, Gustav Vigeland has his own park in Oslo, Norway, full of his sculptures. He was also the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal. Additionally, my Mormor (grandmother) immigrated to the U.S. from Norway as well. Norway is ranked #4 on the list because according to Forbes.com “with a per capita GDP of $54,000 Norway is among the richest in the world and ranks first in social capital and second in safety and security”.
…The United States because it is my home country. According to Forbes.com it makes the top 20 list of happiness because it is “an excellent place to start a business, the U.S. also ranks no. 1 in health, a function of high immunizations, clean water and the highest levels of gov’t spending on healthcare”.
Maybe one day I will be fortunate enough to travel to all of these countries so I can experience happiness of all different cultures and forms.
Although I’m choosing not to blog about the top 20 saddest countries in the world, because I do not want to dwell on the negative… I have included the list below in case anyone is interested.
1. Togo 2. Burundi 3.Syria 4.Benin 5.Rwanda 6.Afghanistan 7.Burkina Faso
8.Ivory Coast 9.Guinea 10.Chad 11. Central African Republic 12.Madagascar
13. Tanzania 14.Cambodia 15.Niger 16.Gabon 17.Senegal 18.Uganda
19.Comoros 20.Congo (Brazzaville)