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Guess Where the World's Happiest Place Is

By Sandy Schroeder

The World Happiness Report, a survey produced by the United Nations, measures “subjective well-being” around the world. Turns out that Disneyland isn't the happiest place on earth, but Finland is, according to the BBC.

The report said Nordic countries regularly appear in the top five spots. The U.S. ranked 18th, down four spots from last year, partly because of substance abuse, obesity, and untreated depression, according to report co-editor, Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor.

So what can we learn about happiness from the Finns? If we take a look at the way they do business we may be able to see why it works so well.

Finns are known for these things.

Metal bands rule - According to, they have the most metal bands per capita with the most famous being Nightwish, HIM, and Children of Bodom.

Saunas are everywhere - Finns enjoy steamy hot saunas and they have enough of them to comfortably accommodate their 3.3 million population.

Really famous exports - The cartoon characters called Moomins and the mobile gaming app, Angry Birds, are both Finnish creations.

They have wonderful views - The Northern Lights, wild reindeer, and maybe even St. Nick, can be seen from Lapland.

How the Report Works

The report asked more than a thousand people in more than 150 countries one question:

"Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom represents the worst possible life. Which step would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?"

The average result is the country's score. Finland’s average result was 7.78 with countries at the bottom averaging about 2.0. The next nine happiest countries in order were Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. By comparison, the U.S. score was 7.10. Canada registered 7.32, Israel, 7.27, the United Kingdom 6.88, Mexico 6.41 and Russia 5.57

The countries were also scored on life expectancy, economic strength, social support, generosity, perceived corruption and freedom of choice.

An American teacher living in Finland said, "I think everything in this society is set up for people to be successful, starting with university and transportation that works really well."

I think many of us feel we have some definite assets where we are, but we may be able to learn something from Finland. Think about where you live, what makes it good, and what would it take to make it better. As neighbors, community members and citizens, there are many ways we can help to spread happiness where we live.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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