U.S. Can't Get No Satisfaction

Need happiness? Move to Canada, or better yet, Denmark.

Northern European countries are the happiest countries, according to a report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). The report looks at how satisfied people are with their lives, using data collected from Gallup in 140 countries around the world.

Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands ranked at the top of the list. The U.S. didn’t make it into the top 10, but Canada did.

So why aren’t we happier? One trait that played a role that some might say the U.S. is not known for: work-life balance. The average workweek in Scandinavian countries is 37 hours, even though they have a high GDP per capita, according to a look at the results published in Forbes.

GDP per capita also made a difference, Forbes found. While the global economic crisis is getting everyone down, the countries that scored at the top still boast some of the highest gross domestic product per capita in the world.

Unemployment also mattered. Forbes noted that Denmark’s unemployment rate is just 2%, compared to 9% in the U.S.

The top 10 happiest countries, according to the report, are:

  1. Denmark
  2. Finland
  3. Netherlands
  4. Sweden
  5. Ireland
  6. Canada
  7. Switzerland
  8. New Zealand
  9. Norway
  10. Belgium.