People are most satisfied with life in these 10 countries

Where are people the happiest? It’s not random, studies show that certain places score higher than others–and moving there might improve your quality of life. The OECD Better Life Index looks at the factors that make countries great places to live. They came up with this list of the top 10 countries where people are most satisfied with life. Let’s dive in:

sweden happiest country

#10 Sweden

With a pristine environment, great gender equality, and a relatively equal society, it’s no wonder why the Swedes are satisfied with life. For more on Sweden, check out our articles on eating vegetarian in Stockholm, Cafe Pascal, and Herman’s Vegetarian Restaurant.


#9 Australia

Australia benefits from great scores on the environment and civic engagement, contributing to make Australia one of the world’s top countries for life satisfaction. For more on Australia check out our post 24 hours in Sydney.

amsterdam happy

#8 The Netherlands (Holland)

The Netherland’s benefits from great work life balance, safe streets, and good scores in health and well-being.

#7 Canada

Canada has a great health system and a welcoming attitude towards immigrants. However, we all know the real reason they are in the world’s top ten for life satisfaction is due to Justin Trudeau, aka PM Steal Yo Girl!

Listen to indie band Lonely Singles on Spotify and Apple Music!

#6 New Zealand

With views like this, no wonder New Zealanders have one of the world’s highest life satisfaction rates! If you visit New Zealand, be sure to hit The Unbakery, New Zealand’s best vegetarian restaurant.


#5 Finland

A great environment and one of the world’s best education systems make the Finns some of the most content people on earth.

#4 Iceland

Iceland doesn’t just have the northern lights, Brennivín, and the blue lagoon–it also has the world’s fourth-highest life satisfaction rate. Pretty impressive, especially considering the country is shrouded in darkness during the winter. Check out Brandon Belknap’s great travel writing about his time in Iceland.

happiest city copenhagen

#3 Denmark

Great work life balance and high levels of public safety contribute to place Denmark in the top three. Check out our post on Copenhagen.

best places to live

#2 Switzerland

Switzerland has been at peace for over 200 years, is the home of Rolex, and was the setting of the beautiful The Sound of Music. No wonder Switzerland has the world’s second highest life satisfaction rate.

Happiest countries

#1 Norway

Norway is a true powerhouse. With great gender equality, a strong social safety net, and a positive society, Norway gets a lot right–and that’s why Norwegians are the people most satisfied with life.

What do happy countries have in common?

What is it about cold European countries that make their people so happy? A great social-safety net, low crime, good gender equality, and a positive outlook on the future make these societies some of the best places to live in the world. If you’re thinking of moving–or going on a vacation–you could do worse than visiting Northern Europe.

What happened to America?

Americans reading this article might wonder, where is the US? Sadly, it looks like it’s time to make America happy again. The USA is only the 15th happiest OECD nation, partially due to poor work life balance and income inequality.



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