The Happiest Countries in the World

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7. Australia
> Life satisfaction score:
7.3 (tied-7th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 85.0% (4th highest)
> Pct. with quality support network: 92.0% (tied-11th highest)
> Disposable income: $31,588 (5th highest)
> Life expectancy: 82.1 years (6th highest)

Feeling connected to the people around you is one indicator of a happy country. More than 90% of Australians responded they had a strong network of friends and family. Another measure of social cohesion, civic engagement, was also particularly strong in Australia. In the most recent election, 93% of voter-aged Aussies cast a ballot, by far the highest rate in the OECD. Voting has been compulsory in Australia since 1924, and failing to vote in some cases results in a fine. Australian workers enjoyed both a high degree of job security and high salaries. Annual personal earnings averaged more than $50,000, more than $14,000 above the OECD average.

6. Norway
> Life satisfaction score:
7.4 (tied-4th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 76.0% (10th highest)
> Pct. with quality support network: 94.0% (tied-7th highest)
> Disposable income: $33,492 (3rd highest)
> Life expectancy: 81.5 years (tied-10th highest)

Norway’s unemployment rate was just 3.5% last year, significantly lower than the 36-country average unemployment rate of 8.1%. Working Norwegians were also well paid. Full-time Norwegian workers earned $50,282 annually on average, among the highest levels compared to other surveyed countries. As with many other countries that enjoy high levels of happiness, Norway’s air and water were assessed as some of the best in the world. As many as 94% of respondents said they were satisfied with the quality of their water, nearly the most among countries reviewed.

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5. Israel
> Life satisfaction score:
7.4 (tied-4th highest)
> Self-reported good health: 80.0% (8th highest)
> Pct. with quality support network: 87.0% (11th lowest)
> Disposable income: $22,104 (15th lowest)
> Life expectancy: 81.8 years (8th highest)

By many measures, Israel is an outlier as one of the happiest countries in the world. For example, with the exception of Israel, residents in every country with a high level of life satisfaction reported having a strong network of friends or family. In Israel, only 87% of respondents said they had a strong sense of community, 26th in this measure. Perhaps because of its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, Israel ranked as one of the least safe countries among countries reviewed, with 6.4% of the population reporting having experienced an assault in the past 12 months. Nevertheless, 80% of respondents reported being in good health, one of the higher rates among countries measured by the OECD.