Year after year, the Nordic countries are ranked as the happiest places to live and year after year, everybody tries to figure out why. Last year, Norway took the top spot in the World Happiness Report and was followed by its neighbors — the United States came in at #14.
The report judges happiness based on caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. One of the study’s editors told Time “the Scandinavian countries are very big on social support.” He added “the top countries, you can see, have societies which are not at each other’s throats. But they also have high GDP per capita.”
When asked why the United States rarely seems to break into the top ten, another editor pointed to the Nordic nations’ treatment of their less fortunate citizens, saying “most of the Scandinavian countries have a variety of services for the unemployed. They have unemployment insurance and child support.” Social interaction also seems to play a key role in the happiness of citizens.
In the abstract from the report, the team behind the study noted that oil prices in Norway fell this year, but that the nation produces oil slowly and puts proceeds of their oil exports toward the future. In doing this, they seem to have provided a sort of insurance police for their economy.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Norway is absolutely gorgeous, just take a look at these glamour shots of her.
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President Trump reportedly said that he wanted more immigrants from Norway, but that definitely doesn’t appear to be happening. Almost 1.2 million people came to the United States in 2016 (which is the last year that data is available from the Department of Homeland Security) and only 362 of them were from Norway. In fact, according to data accessed by the Chicago Tribune, more Americans went to Norway in 2016 than the other way around.