The Happiest Countries

Yesterday we published a list of the safest cities in the world, where Asian cities did pretty well. They ranked at the top and at the bottom, but in general Japanese cities, Singapore and Hong Kong are among the safest cities in the world. Unfortunately having a safe cities doesn’t appear to translate to happiness.  In the list of the world’s happiest countries, Asia lags far behind.

The happiest countries are mainly European and Nordic, although Canada, New Zealand and Australia also figure prominently. One common factor is they’re wealthy nations and unlike the US which has a much wider disparity in income equality and far less of a social safety net (and rates far lower on happiness), the happiest countries have a strong middle class and robust social programs such as healthcare, better access to higher education and more.

Happiness comes from good governance and a sense of fair play.

It’s telling to note there are no Asian entrants in the top 20, in fact only Taiwan at 26th, Singapore at 34th and Malaysia at 35th make it into the top 40.  Why is that?  In East Asia are people too busy, do they work too hard?  Is there more income equality and are there less dependable social programs? Many experts would argue that’s the case.

One other point is that there is little corruption and the police and politicians are well trusted in the top 6 countries.It seems good governance and a fair society are obliviously contributing factors to a happy country. The happiest countries are easy to predict because they eschew the same values… ones that people obviously care about.

Read the entire report World Happiness Report 2018