Happiness does not have a formula yet we can measure different field of life quality and measure how satisfied people are with their lives. Apparently, some nations tend to be happier than others. You look at their people, their faces, their patience, their traffic and you know how mentally calm they are. Some people are satisfied with the lives they are living while some say they are not happy.
OECD Better Life Index has ranked countries on the basis of economic abilities of citizens, education, safety, housing, income, earning and some other metrics. This can give us an insight into our personal well-being and act as an eye opener if you wonder what makes nations happy or unhappy. This ranking is based on the rating of different citizens not based on their current feelings but on the basis of whole life. Some nations are happy life Finland, Switzerland, and Denmark while some countries are miserable like Portugal, Hungary, and Turkey.
Let’s have a look at these countries and explore how they can teach us to be happier.
Australians gave 7.3 out of 10 when they were asked how satisfied they are with their lives. This is higher than the average of 6.5 calculated by OECD. This credit goes to their country policies. The Australian government is very much making efforts to improve early childhood development. The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) gathers data across the country collected from schools. Australian children in their ECD classes (early childhood development) which is the first grade in their schools examine five areas of a student’s wellbeing and development; these areas are physical health, language, and cognitive skills, communication skills, general knowledge, and social competence. This is done at the national level to analyze and make efforts in areas the children need help to grow as happy and healthy individuals. Teachers have trained accordingly, and thus children’s development continually monitored.
Austrians say their life satisfaction lies on a 7.0 on a scale of 10. This country is again higher than on the satisfaction scale, higher than the average of 6.5. Austrians have one of the best housing, not just shelter but places they can sleep without fear of risks to life and property, places where privacy is not disturbed, and they can raise their children there. There are 1.6 rooms per person and only 1% of the population lives without basic sanitary facilities. The rent control and huge living spaces make it one of the most livable places.
When asked how satisfied they are with their lives in Belgium, Belgians ranked their satisfaction 6.9 on a scale of 10, higher than the OECD average. They have excellent housing with 2.2 rooms per person on average and 97.7% of the population having private access to indoor flushing toilets. There are very minimal employment issues; 62% of people from the age of 15-60 years have a paid job, slightly lower than the OECD average of 67%. The unemployed labor in Belgium is less than 4 percent. The family system and social reliance are considerably stronger here with 97% of people claiming they have someone to rely on in need thus depicting a strong social setup promoting economic opportunities and mental health. People are highly educated with 75 percent of adults have completed their upper secondary education.
Brazilians rated their life satisfaction in the country a 6.6 rating on a scale of 100. The government has played a vital role to remove poverty and well-being of citizens. One of the efforts was The Bolsa Familia which provided funds to improve four areas which were maternal health, school attendance, child labor and cooking gas subsidies. The poorest of Brazilians thus have now much better lives and opportunities to prosper. The monthly child benefit is allocated for kids enrolled in schools, pregnant women and their checkups. This scheme has reduced poverty in Brazil from 33-50 percent.
Canadians rate their life satisfaction 7.3/10 on average. The government has some share in this; Canada formed the Early Development Instrument to monitor and measure of children as they get enrolled in schools. It keeps recording child’s development even after school. The data generated by EDI is used to focus on weak areas and try removing these by eliminating the root cause of those weaknesses. Their life expectancy at birth is 82 years which shows how good their health care is. 93% of Canadians say they can rely on someone in the time of need, so they have a robust social community too. 73 % of Canadians from 15-60 years have a paid job with 75% of men doing paid jobs as compared to 70 percent women.
Chileans gave 6.7/10 when they were asked how satisfied they are with the life they have in Chile. Chile is a country that changed its fate in a decade. Life standard has tremendously improved since efforts were made to reduce poverty. Chile unlike other countries in the list are good in few areas but lag behind in many other aspects of a good life index. They are better in general well-being but lag behind in jobs, earning, health, personal security and education, and skills. Sixty-two percent of Chileans have a paid job with 75% of men compared to 52% women. 10% of Chileans have really long working hours. When education is concerned men in Chile are more educated and competitive than women.
Czechs rate their life satisfaction 6.6/10 on average. This country scores well in some areas of Better Life Index like education, subjective well-bitingness, and personal security. Though it scores less than average in social reliability, health, income and jobs, housing and civic engagement. There is a massive gap between rich and poor with the top 20 percent population earning four times more than the lowest 20 percent. Around 72% of the population is getting paid for the jobs they are doing. Only 6% of the population works for extensive hours, less than the OECD average of 13%. 93% of the population has completed upper secondary education. Life expectancy at birth is 79 years with 82 years for women and 76 years for men. People have access to clean drinking water. Czechs have average social and civic lives.
Danes gave a 7.5/10 to the life of Denmark, higher than the OECD average. Denmark scores really well, higher than average, in most of the fields of Better Life Index. Denmark scores really well in work-life balance, education, civic engagement, and social life, health, personal security, job and earning and subjective well-being. Seventy-five percent of adults between the age of 16-64 have a paid job. Only 2% of the population works for long hours. Quality education is a requirement for most of the jobs. 81% of the adults between the age of 25-64 have completed their upper secondary education. Life expectancy at birth is 81 years, again higher than the OECD average. People here have an active social bond that’s why 95% of people believe that have at least one person who they can rely on in difficult times.
Estonia has really improved a lot in every field of life in the last few years. Estonians say the life satisfaction is 6.5/10 in Estonia for them. Estonia scores well in housing, education, civic engagement, work-life balance, and environment; yet it scores less than average in personal security, jobs and earning, health status and subjective well-being. 89% of Estonian adults between the ages of 15-64 have paid jobs. Three percent of Estonians have long working hours. 89% of the population has completed upper secondary education which constitutes a bigger population of women than men which is about 92% and 85% respectively. Life expectancy at birth is 78 years. Ninety percent Estonians s believe they have someone to rely on in time of need which is not a bad number.
Fins rank their satisfaction as 7.5/10. They do well in most of the wellness criteria points. They top in the education, above average in income and wealth, jobs and earnings, health status, civic engagement, environmental quality, subjective well-being, personal security, social connections, housing, and work-life balance. 69% adults do paid jobs with 4% of the population doing jobs for very long hours.88% adults have completed upper secondary education with 85% men and 91% women to be able to do that. Life expectancy at births us 82 years and 94% of the population is satisfied with the water. Ninety-five people claim to have someone they can always rely on.