Skip to main content

Happiest Country Rankings

In a study published in April in the journal Politics and Policy, researchers ranked 15 industrialized democracies based on the life satisfaction of their citizens.

Using four measures of government size, seen below, the researchers found that countries with larger governments also have the happiest citizens.

Read the full story.

Countries, from most to least satisfiedTax revenue as percent of GDPGovernment consumption as percent of real per capita GDPAverage percent of earnings replaced by unemployment benefitsSocial welfare expenditures as a percent of GDP
1. Norway43.518.43921.6
2. Switzerland29.28.83320.3
3. Finland43.918.73526.1
4. Canada33.413.21216.5
5. Sweden49.522.33929.4
6. The Netherlands38.820.83520.9
7. Great Britain36.317.41221.3
8. Spain35.818.13621.2
9. Australia30.815.72217.1
10. United States27.311.21315.9
11. Japan27.316.3818.6
12. Germany34.815.62426.7
13. Italy40.915.23325
14. France43.920.53929.2
15. South Korea25.510.496.9

You can follow LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

Stephanie Pappas
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.