Trump’s America got you down? You’re not alone. According to the UN’s World Happiness Report report published in Forbes on Tuesday, the good ol’ US of A didn’t even make the top 10 cheeriest countries in which to live (no surprise there). The report is released every year by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Trying to boil down happiness to a number is a pretty daunting task. The UN defines the undefinable by taking into account six different factors—GDP, life expectancy, social support, generosity, freedom, and corruption—across 156 countries. Anyway, if you’re looking for a place to plan your next vacation, you may want to consider these locales for 2018.
Sure, it’s like a 30-hour flight from New York, but you can nap off your jetlag at one of the country’s gorgeous beaches. Plus, it’s warm most of the time. Actually, it’s basically year-round summer by NYC standards.
Okay, definitely not as warm as Australia, but Forbes says it’s got “hip” cities. To be fair, the fashion coming out of Stockholm rarely disappoints.
8. New Zealand
I’d go for the accents, but that’s just me. I’ve never been to New Zealand, but the nature is supposed to be beautiful and the sheep to human ratio is about 20:1. There’s also the fact my cousin married a Kiwi, and he’s about as lovely as human beings get. Also, they’re called Kiwis.
As it turns out, universal healthcare doesn’t suck and will help you live longer. Who knew? Anyway, our neighbors up north are smiling a lot more than us Yanks, it would seem.
6. The Netherlands
The Dutch are pretty chill about everything. How else can you account for a city like Amsterdam? Even if you’re not exactly 420-friendly, the rest of the country is pretty dope, especially if you’re into windmills and tulips.
Switzerland was actually the happiest place in 2015. Being home to some of the best chocolate and cheese will do that to a country. Forbes also notes that its favorable tax policies, education, and robust economy probably have something to do with it.
Is it me, or was everyone else’s IG feed jammed up with vacation pics from the Blue Lagoon? From the looks of it, Iceland is basically IRL Narnia, which explains why Björk is from there. Bonus points for free health care and education.
The Danes pretty much have infrastructure on lock. (The MTA should be taking notes.) Denmark also boasts one of the smallest wealth gaps in the world.
The Scandinavian nation was actually last year’s winner. It was also voted the most beautiful country in Europe. But just because it has a pretty face doesn’t mean it’s lacking in substance. Norway also ranks very highly in social equity and welfare.
Home to one of my favorite television characters, Minna Häkkinen of Veep, Finland takes home the gold in happiness. Maybe it's the country's strict environmental standards or the fact that both local born residents and immigrants enjoy the same level of contentment. Either way, it’s putting America, which came it at a paltry 18th place, to shame.