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They say that the most important rules of real estate are “location, location and location,” and it would seem the same goes for happiness. If the World Happiness Report, an annual survey that measures the contentedness of a country’s residents, is any indication, the people of Norway must have pretty big smiles on their faces.
John Helliwell, the report’s co-editor and an economist at the University of British Columbia, told CNN what made Norway, the new happiest country on earth, stand out. “By choosing to produce oil deliberately and investing the proceeds for the benefit of future generations, Norway has protected itself from the volatile ups and downs of many other oil-rich economies,” Helliwell said. “This emphasis on the future over the present is made easier by high levels of mutual trust, shared purpose, generosity and good governance. All of these are found in Norway, as well as in the other top countries.”
The Scandinavian hotspot made a pretty impressive jump in the past year, moving into the top spot after two years in fourth place, unseating three-time champion Denmark, moving it down into second place. Iceland and Switzerland rounded out the top four in what the makers of the list, which analyzed the happiness of 155 countries, described as a tight race. Finishing out the top 10 countries were Finland, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden (which technically tied for ninth place) and Israel. The United States ranked fourteenth, just ahead of Ireland, but slightly behind Austria. Come on, America — it’s time to take some advice from The Partridge Family and get happy.
Featured image of the Northern Lights over Norway courtesy of Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.
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