World Happiness Report: These countries are the happiest

Travel Trends

A farmer holds his goat in New Zealand – he looks pretty happy. Source: Shutterstock

“SKEPTICS of happiness believe that power, not happiness is the business of government…yet pursuing happiness is not only idealistic, it is the world’s best and perhaps only hope of avoiding global catastrophe.” – World Happiness Report, 2018.

The World Happiness Report has just been released by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and it appears that the northern European country of Finland has claimed the top spot.

We’re not Finnish-ed yet though. The report ranked 156 countries by happiness levels, based on factors such as life expectancy, social support, and corruption. So how did the Asia Pacific fair in the report?

Although Northern European countries dominate the top 10 positions, with Finland first, Norway second, Denmark third, Switzerland fifth and Sweden ninth, New Zealand and Australia have made their mark and ranked eighth and tenth respectively.

The report combines different aspects of happiness which include economics, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

While New Zealand and Australian rejoice in glee, other Asian countries also have cause for celebration as a total of 13 Asian nations are featured in the top 100 countries for national happiness.

Taiwan claimed the highest spot of all other Asian nations in the report, coming in at 26, while Singapore and Malaysia took spots in the 30s. China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bhutan, feature later in the report but still incredibly commendable considering all of them are either developing or semi-developing nations.

Each Asian nation featured on the list has their own governance and policy which plays a big part in what ranking in the report they receive.

But apart from politics and statistics, each nation’s incredible cultures, traditions, natural beauty, and history have all contributed to their ranking. These cultural quirks intrigue tourists and help create a stronger economy for the country – a happy little cycle.

What makes these Asia Pacific countries happy?

For New Zealand, the epic landscapes provide incredible natural beauty for residents to look out upon each day and for tourists, avid hikers and explorers to navigate – just one of the reasons New Zealand is a great place.

As for Taiwan, the 24-hour culture brings vibrancy and color to any vacation. While China is steeped in rich history and perfect for the dynasty enthusiast.

Indonesia and Vietnam are popular among backpackers and luxury travelers looking for the perfect paradise getaway.

Mongolia and Bhutan are especially known for their century-old culture and keeping ancient traditions alive. Travelers flock to the country to observe the Mongolian way of life, taming wild horses and living in a mostly freezing climate.

These cultural-signifiers are only a snapshot of what makes each country unique and entice travelers from far and wide.

For many of the Asian countries ranked in the top 100 happiest nations, tourism is a major contributor to their economies. And although they say money can’t buy happiness, it certainly goes a long way to providing people with a better quality of life.