Why is the Netherlands so happy?

Tracey & Travis

Happiness is a topic that has been researched extensively in recent years, with numerous studies and rankings released to determine the happiest countries in the world. One of the best-known rankings is the World Happiness Report, which has been published annually since 2012. Measuring happiness is a complex task, as it is a subjective experience that can varywidely from person to person.

The Netherlands is consistently ranked among the top countries in the World Happiness Report and is known for its highstandard of living, social welfare policies, and overall quality of life. This year, in 2023, The Netherlands ranked number 5 of allcountries in the world for happiness. Leading the top 5 is number 1, Finland, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Israel.

Determining happiness
The World Happiness Report ranks countries based on the following factors:

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita: A high GDP per capita is often associated with a high standard of living and access to resources that contribute to happiness, such as healthcare and education.

Social support: This includes having friends and family members to turn to in times of need, as well as strong social networks and community organizations.

Healthy life expectancy: This measures the number of years a person can expect to live in good health, which is closely linked to overall well-being.

Freedom to make life choices: The ability to make choices about one’s life, including career, relationships and personal beliefs, is an important aspect of happiness.

Generosity: This includes measures of charitable giving and volunteer work, which are linked to higher levels of happiness.

Work-life balance: This includes valuing a healthy work-life balance, with many workers enjoying flexible hours and generousamount of vacation time. This allows people to prioritize their personal lives and spend more time with family and friends.

So, why is the Netherlands so happy?
The Netherlands performs well in all of the key criteria for measuring happiness. The country has a high GDP per capita. The Dutch are also known for their strong social networks and support systems, with high levels of trust in government and institutions.

The Netherlands places a strong emphasis on work-life balance, with a relatively short workweek and a high number ofvacation days. This allows people to prioritize their personal lives and spend time with friends and family, which contributes to overall well-being.

Additionally, the Netherlands is known for its progressive policies on issues such as LGBTQ rights and drug decriminalization. These policies promote freedom and individual choice, which is another important factor in overall happiness.

The World Happiness Index provides valuable insights into the factors that contribute to happiness and well-being around theworld. The Netherlands serves as a prime example of how strong social support systems, a high standard of living, and a progressive political and social climate can contribute to a happier and more sustainable society.

Written by Tracey Martin