Special Report

Happiest Countries in the World

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20. United Arab Emirates
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 93.8%
> Residents who say they have social support: 83.5%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: N/A
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 68.4 years

The UAE is the only country in the Arab world to place in the top 25 list. For one thing, the UAE is the most tolerant of countries in this region. Residents have gone on record to say that safety and security make them happy. But, it’s clear that the open door policy for international migration is a main factor. Locals and expats alike agree.

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19. United Kingdom
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 82.2%
> Residents who say they have social support: 94.3%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 44.4%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 71.8 years

After jumping from 23rd place in 2016 to 19th in 2017, the UK remains in this slot this year. Perhaps the rankings were before the happy nuptials of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle (or Manchester City winning the Premier League). Though often characterized as cold, the British actually have some of the strongest social supports that likely contribute greatly to their happiness.

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18. United States
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 83.5%
> Residents who say they have social support: 90.6%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 70.0%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 69.8 years

The good news is, the U.S. remains in the top 25 happiest countries, though it’s tumbled in ranking in the last two consecutive lists. Collectively, the U.S. tends to score highly in the wellness category, which includes physical, emotional, financial, community, and social well-being.

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17. Luxembourg
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 90.6%
> Residents who say they have social support: 92.7%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 35.4%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 72.2 years

Life for the average Luxembourger is good, suffice it to say. Officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, it’s one of the smallest sovereign nations in Europe. The country enjoys a high-income market economy. It’s known for being one of the most relaxed nations. Luxembourg’s motto is “Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn” which stands for “We want to remain what we are.”

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16. Belgium
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 86.4%
> Residents who say they have social support: 91.2%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 50.3%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 72.1 years

Belgium may be a multilingual country, but more than 90% of Belgians surveyed believe they have social support. It’s often said that things happen in threes. The number is not lost on the Belgians. Belgium has three official languages. The North (Flanders) speaks Dutch, the South (Wallonia) speaks French, and a small part in the East speaks German. There are also three main sorts of Belgian waffles: Liege waffles (the most common), Brussels waffles, and galettes. Smakelijk!