Money, love, freedom – happiness means something different to everyone. Happiness can be very subjective. Some people are happy when it rains, others are happy when the sun is shining. So how is it measured? Apparently the people take into account a number of different things such as average life expectancy and most importantly the answer to the following multiple choice question “How happy are you?”
Living in the worlds richest country inevitably puts a smile on your face! This small landlocked European country has an army of 800 people (yes, 800). They don’t have a navy nor an air force but together with Belgium they can afford to own 1 military cargo plane. According to the Guinness Book of World Records Luxembourg holds the world record as the country that consumes most alcohol in the world per citizen.
Brunei is the 9th position in the top 10 happiest countries in the world.Oil rich Brunei is a tax free and generally wealthy land, the natives live a comfortable lifestyle and actively welcome visitors from abroad.
This “secret” of the Middle East is quickly becoming a popular place to visit.
Many people have no idea that Canada’s head of state is actually Queen Elizabeth II – the head of the British Monarchy. This meant that when Britain declared war on Germany in World War I, Canada was automatically at war with the soon to be Nazi country.
Unlike the neighboring US, Canada has never cancelled its relations with Cuba and has declined to take part from the Iraq War – instead, it has played a leading role in the United Nations peacekeeping missions and helped to launch a $1.5 billion initiative to help develop vaccines that could save millions of people in poor countries. It seems that happy people make a happy country!
Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is no ordinary place. This is a country where buying cigarettes is illegal, where the rice is red and where chillies aren’t just a seasoning but the entire dish. It’s also a deeply Buddhist land, where men wear a tunic to work, where giant protective penises are painted on the walls of most houses, and where Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than Gross National Product. Tourism in Bhutan is also unique. Visitors famously have to pay a minimum of US$200 per day, making it one of the world’s most expensive countries to visit, but this fee is all-inclusive, you don’t have to travel in a group and you can arrange your own itinerary.
The beauty of the Himalayas would leave most inhabitants of such a location happy, but the country’s governmental policies around the contentment of its citizens means that residents and visitors alike are encouraged to consider happiness over anything else.
Charming towns, excellent food, expansive parks, and the home of massage, all add up to making Sweden one of the happiest locations in the world.This “welfare state” model is an excellent example of effective national taxes. Among other things the state provides universal tax-funded childcare, parental leave, health care, education (including university), retirement pensions and sick leave. Including value added tax (VAT – kind of like sales tax), it is possible to pay up to 80% of your income as taxes.
Contrary to popular belief, Swedes are quite OK with their high taxes – after all it gives them tons of high quality services and they almost never need to take drastic action like taking quick payday loans just to make ends meet. In fact, most of the services for the public are free, so what’s not to be happy about?