People in Iceland appreciate their clean water while in Japan people think a lot about their personal safety. Here are the things that control how we feel.
Where in the world offers the best quality of life? And what is of importance for us human beings?
The OECD has since 2011 conducted a major study, Better Life Index, in which more than 60,000 people have participated and responded to questions about everything from the environment to where they work and live.
So what is the most important factor? It is perhaps not surprising that "quality of life" is ranked as the absolute most important factor, closely followed by education and health. But there are of course large regional differences. In for instance Japan, it is believed that "safety" is the most important factor while in Australia seeking a better balance between work and leisure, which probably has something to do with the fact that 14% of the working population work more than 50 hours a week compared to 9% in OECD countries. People in Sweden and Holland work least overtime. Those who appreciate nature most of all should move to Iceland, where people think they have the best environment and cleanest water, while the Turks are least satisfied. For those who long for plenty of room at home New Zealand is the place to be as people have access to on average 2.3 rooms. But on the other hand if you live in Russia you will have to huddle together in 0.9 rooms.
Another interesting aspect that is not linked to where in the world we come from, is that the happier we perceive ourselves as being at a young age, the better income we will have in later life. Taken over a one year period there is a difference of SEK 12,000 between those who are generally a little dissatisfied and those who are happy with life, which perhaps confirms the old truth that instead of thinking about money, it is better that we focus on being happy with life, and the rest will take care of itself.
So on the whole, where in the world has the best quality of life? Well the most satisfied people are in Switzerland topping the rankings just before Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Finland and Sweden.