The Happiest Countries in the World

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10. New Zealand
> Life satisfaction score:
7.3 (tied-7th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 90.0% (the highest)
> Pct. with quality support network: 94.0% (tied-7th highest)
> Disposable income: $23,815 (17th lowest)
> Life expectancy: 81.5 years (tied-10th highest)

New Zealand tied for the world’s seventh happiest country mostly due to the good health of its residents. Nine out of every 10 New Zealanders surveyed reported being in good health, the highest share of all countries reviewed and well above the 68% of residents who said they were in good health across countries reviewed. Not only are Kiwis healthy, but they are also employed. Approximately 73% of residents were employed as of 2013, higher than the 65% of residents among countries reviewed. Additionally, less than 1% of the country’s labor force had been unemployed for more than a year as of 2013, more than three times lower than the average jobless rate among countries reviewed.

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9. Netherlands
> Life satisfaction score:
7.3 (tied-7th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 76.0% (10th highest)
> Pct. with quality support network: 90.0% (16th highest)
> Disposable income: $27,888 (13th highest)
> Life expectancy: 81.2 years (15th highest)

Economic security is one factor that can contribute to a country’s happiness. While 65% of the labor force was employed across surveyed countries, 74% of the Netherlands’ workforce was employed, the fourth highest rate. And while strong household finances do not always correlate with high levels of happiness, the net worth of Dutch households was nearly $78,000 as of 2012, the fifth highest level among countries reviewed.

8. Canada
> Life satisfaction score:
7.3 (tied-7th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 89.0% (2nd highest)
> Pct. with quality support network: 92.0% (tied-11th highest)
> Disposable income: $29,365 (8th highest)
> Life expectancy: 81.5 years (tied-10th highest)

Nearly 90% of Canadians surveyed self-reported high levels of health in 2013, the second highest share in the OECD. High levels of happiness may also stem from strong community engagement. When asked if they had friends or relatives to turn to when they were in trouble, 92% of Canadians responded positively. Together, happiness and social cohesion may help reduce the number of Canadians who are victims of assault. At just 1.3 assaults per 100,000 residents, Canada’s assault rate was three times lower than the OECD average rate, by far the lowest out of all countries reviewed.