Here Are the Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World
Looking to relocate in 2016? Here's a helpful list of the 10 happiest countries in the world — and the United States didn't make the cut. The annual list was compiled by research and polling association WIN/Gallup International, which interviewed 66,040 people from 68 countries and then analyzed their responses — then they ranked countries by their "net happiness," and here are the countries that came out on top:
Colombia ranked highest in net happiness — 87% of respondents to the poll said they were "happy," 2% said that they were "unhappy," and the rest either answered "neutral" or "do not know/no response," giving Colombia an overall happiness rating of 85%.
The collection of small islands in the South Pacific Ocean ranked second on the list of happiest countries at 82%. FYI, the average temperature in Fiji is usually around 78 degrees.
3. Saudi Arabia
Despite the fact that Amnesty International's most recent assessment of Saudi Arabia is that the government "severely restricted freedoms of expression, association and assembly" over the past two years, it ranked third on WIN/Gallup's list of the 10 happiest countries, with a net score of 82%.
Azerbaijan, a country with a population of just under 10 million, borders Iran and sits on the coast of the Caspian Sea and is roughly the size of South Carolina. Azerbaijan ranked fourth on the list of happiest countries, with a happiness score of 81%.
With a population of 94 million, Vietnam is the 15th most populous country in the world. Its climate includes both tropical lowlands and forested highlands. Vietnam ranked fifth on the list of happiest countries, with a score of 80%.
Argentina is the second largest South American country after Brazil and the 33rd most populous country on the planet with 43 million inhabitants. Its geography includes tundra, mountains and plains (and penguins). Argentina ranks sixth on the list of happiest countries, with a net score of 79%.
Not only did this Central American country rank seventh on the list of happiest countries, with a happiness score of 79%, it was also named the best place to retire in 2016 because of the low cost of living.
The only North American country to crack the top 10, Mexico ranked as the world's eighth happiest country with a score of 76%. Mexico is the 12th most populous country in the world, with a population of 121 million.
Ecuador borders Colombia and Peru, and has a population of almost 15 million. It is also "Latin America's top recipient of refugees," according to the World Factbook. Ecuador ranked ninth on the list of happiest countries, with a happiness score of 75%.
China tied Iceland as the 10th happiest country in the world, with a score of 74%, despite huge demographic differences between the two countries. China is the fourth largest country in the world geographically, and the most populous, with over 1 billion inhabitants. The Chinese government has faced frequent criticism abroad, and Human Rights Watch's most recent report refers to it as an authoritarian state. Because it's so large, China's geography is incredibly diverse, and includes mountains, deserts and coastlines.
Iceland tied with China for the 10th place on the list of the world's happiest country, with a score of 74%. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland has a population of only 331,918 people and is about the size of Kentucky. Many residents live in the country's capital of Reykjavik. It also boasts the sixth highest life-expectancy in the world.
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