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World's 10 happiest countries

Last updated on: June 10, 2011 09:05 IST

World's 10 happiest countries

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In many countries, including India, people expect and assume that economic power guarantees happiness, but it seems that assumption is wrong.

The United States economy is still the largest and wealthiest in the entire world. And relative to Europe and Japan, the US is recovering quite well from the economic recession that threatened to cripple most nations.

But according to a study released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, America does not appear anywhere among the top happiest countries.

So, if citizens of a country as wealthy and rich as the US are not happy, that surely means that economic prosperity alone cannot guarantee happiness.

On a side note, the OECD did not include India in its study simply because India is not part of the OECD, which includes only developed countries.

But according to a study conducted by the New Economics Foundation, India was 35 in its Happiness Planet Index, while Bhutan was 17, Sri Lanka 22 and Pakistan 24.

Let us take a look at the 10 happiest countries and see why they have made it to the list . . .

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Image: Money does not guarantee happiness.

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1. The Netherlands

The Dutch are the happiest people on earth.

Average household income: $25,997

Paid job: 75 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,378 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 75 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 508 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 80.2 years

Satisfaction: 91 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Dutch are most happy with their life.

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2. Denmark

The Danes follow the Dutch as the second most happy people in the world.

Average household income: $22,929

Paid job: 73 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,563 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 71 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 495 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 78.8 years

Satisfaction: 90 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Danes work 1,563 hours per year.

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3. Finland

The Finns follow closely at the number three spot when it comes to happiness.

Average household income: $24,246

Paid job: 68 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,652 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 71 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 536 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 80 years

Satisfaction: 86 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Average student scores 536 out of 600.

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4. Norway

People in the Scandinavian nations seem to the happiest, with Norwegians being the 4th mots happy people in the world.

Average household income: $29,365

Paid job: 75 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,407 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 79 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 503 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 80.6 years

Satisfaction: 84 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Average household income is $ 29,365.

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5. Sweden

The Swedes are the fifth most happy people in the world.

Average household income: $26,543

Paid job: 73 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,610 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 76 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 497 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 81.2 years

Satisfaction: 83 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Swedes work 1,610 hours a year.

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6. Canada

The Canadians are the 6th most happy people in the world, says the OECD survey.

Average household income: $27,015

Paid job: 72 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,699 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 71 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 524 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 80.7 years

Satisfaction: 78 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Life expectancy of Canadians is 80.7 per cent.

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7. Switzerland

The Swiss follow the Canadians and are ranked the 7th most happy people in the world.

Average household income: $27,542

Paid job: 79 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,640 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 79 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 501 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 80 years

Satisfaction: 77 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Swiss work 1,640 hours a year.

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8. Australia

Australians are the eighth most happy people.

Average household income: $27,039

Paid job: 72 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,690 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 71 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 515 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 81.5 years

Satisfaction: 75 per cent are satisfied with their life

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Image: Average income of Australians is $27,000.

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9. Austria

Austrians are the 9th happiest people, says the OECD survey.

Average household income: $27,670

Paid job: 72 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Work hours: 1,621 hours a year

Mothers' employability: 71 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 470 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 80.5 years

Satisfaction: 73 per cent are satisfied with their life

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10. Israel

Israelis make up the list of the top 10 happiest people, having been ranked 10th by OECD.

Average household income: $19,456

Paid job: 59 per cent aged 15 to 64 have a paid job

Mothers' employability: 55 per cent are employed after children start school

Education: Average student scored 474 out of 600 in reading ability

Life expectancy: 81.1years

Satisfaction: 72 per cent are satisfied with their life.


Image: 72 per cent Israelis are satisfied with their life.

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