Australia is the 3rd happiest place on earth! Can you guess who's 1st and 2nd?

@James72 (26829)
Australia
July 5, 2009 1:30am CST
I read an article this morning regarding a survey taken by the New Economics Foundation to determine which nations people were the happiest. I'm not sure exactly what questions they asked, but they surveyed people in 143 countries which contain 99% of the world's population. Here's a link to the news release: http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/5703092/australia-third-happiest-place-on-earth/ Australia came in 3rd overall and Costa Rica was Number 1 with 85% of it's population stating they were happy with their lifestyle and standards of living. Life expectancy and environmental friendliness were also taken into consideration. Number 2 was the Dominican Republic and Latin American countries apparently made up 9 out of the top 10! The UK came in at 74th and the USA at 114th. I wish I could find the entire list, but I've come up empty so far. So, are you suprised to see Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic at number 1 and 2? What about Latin America having so many of the top 10? Would you have expected the UK and USA to have been higher up the rankings? Where do you think your own country might sit in this list?
8 people like this
20 responses
@Celanith (2334)
• United States
6 Jul 09
It does not surprise me that USA is low on the totem pole. Americans don't know how to be content with what they have and have forgot that material things are the least important thing in life. They are so busy trying to earn the almighty dollar working double shifts and going deep into debt for things they really don't need but just want. Family time is rarely quality time and parents and kids see each other for maybe a few minutes per day most the time. They don't save for something but buy it now pay it later and don't plan for long term future or what might happen if everything goes awry, job loss, illness, accident, fire or something else. When they do play they think they have to spend ooodles of money on two and three week vacations that no one really is happy doing and charging things in the process. Happiness is a state of mind and being content with what you have and rejoicing in the little things.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
I tend to agree with you on this one Celantih and it's not a mindset limited to the USA either. Survival of the fittest has taken on a materialistic form in many societies these days and the byproduct of this is a far more stressful world! The true essence of why we exist and what we must do to survive has been lost along the way and we're practically killing ourselves trying to outdo one another and even outdo ourselves! Rejoicing in the little things is so important, yes. If we really think long and hard about it, the things that make us the most happy in life rarely cost much at all!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 09
This really does not surprise me. The Latins are very laid back, aren't they? Of course if you don't let the day to day things in life get to you, you will be much happier, so it just kind of stands to reason, I would think. And, I am not even sure that makes sense, but I know what I mean, so.....
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
You actually make PERFECT sense for once Diddly! What the mind believes, we achieve! A laid back mindset and a knack for not becoming too stressed with life and what it throws at us wouldn't be such a bad place to be at all I don't reckon!
1 person likes this
@agrim94 (3807)
• India
5 Jul 09
Hi james, I dont know who put that crap on net. I canr beleive latin americans being happy with the money they have and yet migrate in millions to USA illegally. Australian haha they are not happy and since the attacks on Indians there, though they are racial as Australians are very racist, police there saying it is because Indian flash their Ipods and latest cell phones and laptops there. Wow so it means the Australians were so jealous of people having I pod, cell phones and laptops that for these small things they were ready to kill them while police looked on. And the attacks happened more than 25 mow in less than 3 months.. really happy people in australia with their income if they have to attack for cell phones or an IPod.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
Hi agrim. This survey was taken by the New Economics Foundation who appear to come across as quite credible actually. The problem here though is that I have no idea what questions were asked? Apparently they took into account lifestyle, average life expectancy, environmental status and cost of living etc among other criteria as well that I'm yet to determine. I also wish to make reference yet again to the situation in Australia. I am an Australian who has also lived and worked in India. Australians as a whole are NOT racists, nor are they so pedantic to get jealous of someone having flashy electronics for God's sake! These were isolated attacks by random idiots hell bent on opportunism. It is NOT a reflection of all Australian people, or the country in general. The criminal hooligans who acted in this manner must be punished severely and made an example of. It really upsets me to keep reading generic comments about Australia and Australians because they're not fair statements at all. When I lived in Mumbai, a foreign woman was sexually assaulted at the Gateway of India by a group of Indian men. So shall I now assume that all Indians are perverts? Of course not!
@tutul0045 (2630)
• India
5 Jul 09
Hey Friends, Lets not start a fight all over again. We all know that some Australians are sick minded and they have no moral values. These people are spoiling the name of Australians world wide and its a shame. I live in Mumbai and Gateway of India is a place where such incidents are common. Thus i have no hesitation to accept that, Yes some Indians are ignorant. They get excited when they c a foreigner and do things which is shameful to the entire nation. Lets not judge an entire nation by just few incidents. We all know that good and bad people exists everywhere. Lets make mylot a place where we all are same, irrespective of our nationality, race, religion and skin color. Cheers, Tutul
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
Thank you tutul. And for the record, I'm not someone that's looking to start any fighting whatsoever because this serves no purpose at all. I will however defend my country and it's people against misinformed generalisations that have been based on the actions of a few. I'm a well travelled individual that has lived and worked in a number of different countries to date and India is one of them. Scumbags exist in all places and it is their actions as misguided and negative people that defines them. To tag an entire nationality or country because of these idiots is just not on. I appreciate your level head in this situation, I must say.
• India
5 Jul 09
Hey James, what I really feel is that the country with the most happy people would be the one with the least population. Cold war everywhere. Terrorism, Fear of nuclear attacks. Even natural calamities are determined to make everyone fall... Guess its all about the karma...
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
Heya pratyush. I'd have to agree with you on this one! After a few years of living in a number of countries with very large population concentrations, the thought of being somewhere with far less people is quite satisfying! Apparently Vanuatu was number 1 on this list in 2008 and this would fit in with your comments very well because they have a small population and an arguably utopian island lifestyle! Sounds good to me, I must say. Karma would play a part too I'm certain of that. The problem being however, that many people wouldn't agree with this at all and won't consider karma when living their lives.
1 person likes this
• India
5 Jul 09
People should take karma a bit seriously. With all the evil everywhere, life has just become very hard. People get angry for no reason at all. There's quarreling, pushing, fighting, troubling, abusing for no or negligible reason at all. The world would really be a better place if people understand "as you sow so shall you reap" once again. But alas ! An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind..
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
Gandhiji! People are too concerned with actually surviving to be able to find the time to dig deeper within to address things like this. It's a sad reality I'm afraid. If only they could recognise that seeking a mindset and way of life along these lines isn't taking away from the here and now at all; it's an investment for tomorrow that will pay dividends immediately! We're all guilty of getting caught up in the day-to-day doldrums though and it's not easy to break cycles that can become as natural as breathing. The only way to break an old cycle is to create a new one, but again, our negative habits reign supreme and we tend to lose sight of the need for things like this. It's not easy!
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17619)
• Singapore
6 Jul 09
Bro, I'm not surprised with the results.. Seems like D.R and Costa R are awesome places ... and the islands.. Relax=happy...now I want a holiday already..
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
I'd love to be living in an island culture myself, so tehre'll be no argument from me here! A holiday would be great too, but I seem to have forgotten what one of those even is? lol.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17619)
• Singapore
6 Jul 09
Awesome, bro.. Tell me about it. I don't know what holiday means to me too.. busy bees we are!
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
Bzzzz, Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
@just4you0 (421)
• India
9 Jul 09
I am from India and as i watched people around me , there is no happiness.Even the people who have every sort of comfort are not happy. You know why? Because they are never satisfied with anything,they made their thinking like that. Contemptation is the biggest form of happiness so it totaly depends on our thinking. And in one of your comments about recent attacks, you realy gave a nice reply and i agree with you. We cant claim the whole country and its people for the disturbance created by some of its people. Well, i am going to new zealand for higher studies so can you please tell me its rank in the list if you found it. Thanks
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
9 Jul 09
Thank you for taking the time to understand my point of view when it comes to the recent attacks in Australia. I agree with what you're saying about materialistic desires and people never seeming to be happy with what they have as well. Mindsets are most definitely one of the most important factors in determining a person's happoiness and how they live. How can one be happy if they're never satisfied? Contemplation can lead to understanding, to acceptance and to peaceful outcomes and knowledge. Envy and greed result in the opposite! I unfortunately still haven't found a definitive list of all countries surveyed yet, but I can assure you that New Zealand is a beautiful country with striking scenery, a mild climate and a small population of mostly friendly people. I would think that many new Zealanders would be quite happy and their quality of life would generally be very good too. You're very lucky to be going there and I wish you all the best with your studies.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
9 Jul 09
I would also appreciate it if you could go back and read my replies to your comments on the first page of this discussion. You owe me an apology.
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (31190)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 09
I would have expected number 1 Australia 2 New Zealand 3 Singapore. I wonder how the UK was number 74 and the USA was number 114. I have heard Costa Rica is lovely but have heard about the poverty in the Dominican Republic. I know Australian people are happy and live in the lucky country. My own country is full of people hoping for better weather, thinking it is too expensive and complaining about the lack of space. Yet it got to number 74. That was a fascinating survey my friend James.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
2 Aug 09
Heya maximax! The frustrating thing about all of this is that the article on the link orignally stated Australia was 3rd and then they retracted that story and placed new information! I wasn't happy to have my discussion's main statement suddenly become inaccurate that's for sure. Costa Rica is still number 1, but Australia is now WAY down the list. Oh well! lol. To me it'll always be number 1 anyways. I wish I knew exactly what questions they asked everyone to come up with these rankings because it would shed a lot of light on the whole situation if they did reveal them. Singapore's great by the way, but the humidity!
• Australia
15 Jul 09
I'm an australian so i am HAPPY lol to see that we are 3rd happiest nation in the world. I have a carefree attitude in life, try to avoid the hang-ups and enjoy the life that we have because i know we only have one chance at life. Costa Rica is definately portrayed as a friendly counrty, i would love to visit Costa Rica one day.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
15 Jul 09
I'm an Aussie too, but a long, long way from home. What sucks here is that the journalists who provided the article saying Australia was 3rd, have now retracted that story and said we're 102nd! And to make it even MORE confusing, there are still articles online saying we're 3rd and other articles saying we're not. I reckon we just accept that Australia's number 1 and leave it at that! I'd love to visit Costa Rica one day too.
@dawnald (84206)
• Shingle Springs, California
6 Jul 09
Walt Disney is turning over in his grave...
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Jul 09
It's quite ironic that he ended up in a coffin seeing as he was such a strong supporter of "It's a small world after all"
@maezee (41048)
• United States
6 Jul 09
About the US coming in 114th place - boy do I BELIEVE that one! We are probably the most miserable country out there - and for no good reason. We're not the most poor country there is - we're not the most crime-ridden - our president isn't TOO much of a fascist.. Hmm. It's really interesting to think about. I don't know much about Costa Rica - except that now I want to move there!
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
I'm packing my bags as we speak.....
@airakumar (1555)
• India
6 Jul 09
Well, thanks a lot for sharing this to all of us. I really appreciate this. Yes, Costa Rica is one of the happiest place on earth. It is so because of living standard. This is actually based on people's living standards, satisfaction and happiness in life. I guess second place is Denmark, probably. People there is also very happy and satisfied with their life style. Thanks.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
You're welcome airakumar, I just wish I had more information like the questions asked and the entire list. Second place actually went to the DOminican Republic and there were no European nations in the top 10 at all! I don't know the specific questions asked, but from what I DO know, they were centred around lifestyle, standards of living and also took into consideration costs of living and environmental conditions. Apparently some 85% of Costa Ricans spoke favourably of their country too, which is great for Costa Rica!
@diamania (7028)
• Netherlands
6 Jul 09
I have a strong feeling that this research is flawed. I don't want to offend anyone but I don't see a logical relation between not-so-efficient-life-conditions in Latin America and being very happy. I know there was a research on happy children too and we ended up first... must be flawed as well...
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
The Foundation that conducted the survey DOES seem credible and they've been doing this for a few years now. What I don't know though is what questions were asked. If I did know this, I might understand the rankings of so many Latin Americsn countries in the top 10. Things over there may just be more ideal than we realise!
@jb78000 (15163)
5 Jul 09
maybe it's more how people describe themselves. i think we (uk) whinge a lot without always meaning it. i remember when i started travelling i was shocked by american patriotism because being critical about your country seemed far more natural to me.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
I've found people to be quite funny when it comes to patriotism actually. When they're on home soil, they'll whinge like crazy, but put them in another country and they're proud as punch about where they're from and their nation in general! This isn't always the case of course, but it's a common trait!
@p1kef1sh (45696)
5 Jul 09
I know that it's not "Jolly Old". We're as miserable as sin here!
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Jul 09
No way! Not the frivolous, carefree and hedonistic Brits??? What IS the world comong too Mr Pike? All that fine weather too.....
@heihong (59)
• China
5 Jul 09
I consider north Europe the happiest region of the world,where is characterized by and known for its high salary,high tax,and high social wealfare. As to happiness index, in my opinion,is a combination of economy,education,and culture,on top of that,comparison most affect people's feelings. I can say that one with strong religion faith will feel happier than others when suffering the same situation.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
Having a strong faith can certainly help a person deal more effectively with pretty much ANY environment, no question. I'm not aware of all tyhe criteria used in this survey, but I think the ones you've mentioned here would've formed part of them for sure. The ennvironmental standing of each country was taken into consideration too, this I DO know.
@Juordis (56)
• Lithuania
5 Jul 09
Hmm, i think, maybe i could be Switzerland? I dont remember good enough, but I heard about Switzerland happines:) Another choise could be Belgium, This country is happy. And what about my country Lithuania. This country is small in Europe, but the happines here is very poor, prizes are bigger than in other countrys, here`s alot people who have no money, live a bad live, dont have a place to live, I think My country have to be 100~ on the list
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
I've been trying to find a definitive list, but there appear to be many versions! European countries don't show up in in the Top 10 of any of them though. I recall reading comments in the past about Switzerland being a wonderful country on many levels and from memory they mentioned Finland or Sweden too? According to this release, it's Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic that are the number 1 and 2 happiest countries, but I have no idea what the questions in the survey are! If I find a current list, I'll check for Lithuania too.
@hiddenwing (3721)
• China
5 Jul 09
China is the 236th happiest place, maybe, or maybe not! haha I am not so familar with the countries in Latin America. To be honest, the only thing People there should be happy! However, someone told me that it was hard to find a job in UK even with a oxford Phd degree! For that matter, they wouldn't feel so happy since some people may suffer from the job searching perplex
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
They only went up to 143 countries with this one! I keep finding all these different lists and the top 10 change every time! I think it's pretty hard to get a job anywhere at the moment I'm afraid, so the UK's not alone on that front. Latin America is one region that I haven't been to before either, but it seems like a decent place to go!
@tutul0045 (2630)
• India
5 Jul 09
Hey James, I read it some where that Denmark is the happiest place in the world. May be things have changed. Anyways as iam from India, I have no expectations to see my country in that list for sure. India is defiantely not the happiest place on this earth. IAm also very surprised to c Australia in the top 3, after so many attacks on students there. Not sure what questions they asked and to whom? lol. But good to hear that somewhere people are happy and content. May be i shd plan a vaction to Costa rica then . Well US and Uk have a lot of problems and thus iam not surprised to c them not in the top10. Cheers, Tutul
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
Heya tutul. I unfortunately haven't been able to get hold of the entire list, so I'm not sure where Denmark is listed. We're talking 143 countries here, so India is definitely in there too. I'm still looking for the full outline and hopefully I'll find it soon and can come back and share it. As an Australian, I wish to point out again that these recent attacks on studenrs are NOT a representation of the country or it's people as a whole, but are isolated circumstances that WILL be dealt with in a proper manner. Unfortunately violence exists everywhere and it's the atrocious actions of a few that tarnish the reputation of many other good people. I lived in India for a little over a year and witnessed vioence there too I'm afraid, but these things I experienced are certainly not blanket criteria I'd use to label the entire country! I wish you luck in getting that Costa Rican vacation too. I wouldn't mind one myself! lol.
@1wldngl (3980)
• United States
24 Nov 11
And what's better is that I can respond to these again, cause I'm a new user! bwahahahahaahhaaha So....I don't care who's happiest, long as they send me cheesecake. Am I selfish? HELL YEAH!!
@misc11 (384)
• United States
5 Apr 11
Costa Rica and Dominican Republic at the top two positions does surprise me. It doesn't surprise that the USA was down the list at all. It doesn't surprise me that Latin American countries were in all the higher spots. Their lifestyles are more relaxed, so I can see their life expectancy being higher. I also think people know the definition of "work to live" as opposed to the "live to work" lifestyle in america. I was planning on visiting Costa Rica, so now I am going to have to book it and see why this country is so happy!