Jhe year 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the World Happiness Report. Over the past ten years, the report has covered over 150 countries each year, ranking them based on multiple factors such as life expectancy, generosity, GDP levels, social support, freedom, corruption and more.
Are the happiest nations the richest? Is there a link between the economic prosperity of a nation and the happiness of its people? Here is an economic overview of the top five countries on the list.
According to the 2022 report, Finland is the happiest country in the world. Finland, a member of the European Union (EU) since 1995, is classified as a “high income” country by the World Bank. The country “has redefined itself from a quiet economy based on agriculture and forestry into a cutting-edge global center of technology and design,” reads a report by the International Trade Administration.
With international trade accounting for around 36% of its GDP, Finland is highly integrated into the global economy. Finland’s main export sectors are transport, electronics, forestry, machinery and chemicals. Its GDP is expected to be around $297.62 billion in 2022 and approach $370 billion by 2027 according to current IMF estimates. The per capita GDP of the country is around $53,744 which will increase to $66,362 in the next five years. Finland is home to the largest archipelago in the world. The country has 75% forest cover and aims to be carbon neutral by 2035. Finland also has its share of concerns. The Bank of Finland highlights the country’s aging population among its concerns, as it will reduce the percentage of the working-age population while leading to a sustained increase in public pensions and health and care spending. long lasting for the elderly.
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and has been a member of the EU since 1973. Denmark’s small open economy shares its border with Germany and is connected by a bridge to southern Sweden. The Faroe Islands and Greenland are part of the Kingdom of Denmark. With approximately 55% of GDP (according to World Bank data) represented by exports, international trade is crucial for the Danish economy.
According to a report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “export and trade mean both higher GNP and higher employment. Danish exports support a wide range of jobs, and the Danish labor market therefore benefits enormously from exporting. Germany, neighboring Denmark, is its main export customer. However, its second export destination is the United States. With a projected GDP of $399.1 billion for 2022, Denmark is classified as a “high income” economy by the World Bank. Over the next five years, the Danish economy is expected to grow to a size of $511 billion. Denmark’s GDP per capita of $68,094 is among the top ten in the world. By 2027, its GDP per capita is expected to hit the $85,518 mark.
Iceland, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean, is a small, open democracy with an abundance of renewable energy. Iceland has the highest share of renewable energy in the total national energy budget; approximately 85% of the total primary energy supply in Iceland comes from locally produced renewable energy sources. Tourism, fishing and aluminum smelting are the main pillars of the Icelandic economy. Its GDP is expected to reach $27.87 billion in 2022 and reach $36 billion by 2027 according to current IMF projections. Its small population boosts its GDP per capita, which is around $74,400 and is expected to reach $94,020 over the next five years. According to the country’s tourism satellite accounts, tourism as a direct proportion of GDP has averaged around 8-9% in recent years. In 2020, it fell to 3.9% in 2020. Tourism has boosted the country’s exchange rate and has therefore been instrumental in improving its external position. According to Statistics Iceland, in 2021, tourism accounted for 17% of the total export value of goods and services (35% before the pandemic), manufactured goods accounted for 32% (mainly aluminum) and seafood products accounted for 24% of total exports. .
Switzerland, an Alpine nation, is a prosperous country and a modern economy. With a projected GDP of $841.97 billion in 2022, Switzerland is the 20th largest economy in the world. It is expected to join the trillion dollar economy club by 2026 according to the IMF. According to current estimates, Switzerland is the fourth richest country in terms of GDP per capita of $96,390 and will rise to third place in 2023. Switzerland is one of the countries that spend the most on research and development ( R&D) in the world with more than 3% of its GDP invested in R&D each year. The Swiss economy is mainly service-oriented, with financial services (banking and insurance) and tourism being its main areas. The financial sector contributes about 10% of Swiss GDP. The country’s political stability as well as an effective institutional and regulatory environment are some of the reasons that explain its privileged status as an international financial center. Switzerland has an advanced manufacturing sector. The mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and metalworking (MEM) industry is at the heart of Swiss manufacturing. In terms of total trade, Germany is Switzerland’s largest trading partner, followed by the United States and China.
5. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a geographically small nation that is strategically located from a business perspective. The Netherlands is home to the largest port in Europe and the fourth largest airport for freight, and these factors have contributed to its rise as a leading trading nation. The Netherlands became a trillion dollar economy in 2021 and is currently the 19th largest economy with a GDP of $1.01 trillion. The Netherlands has a thriving service sector and has nine key sectors, such as agribusiness, information technology, chemicals, high-tech systems and materials, life sciences and healthcare, creative industries, energy, aerospace and logistics.
The Netherlands aims for a circular economy by 2050, “a waste-free economy that works as much as possible with sustainable and renewable raw materials, and in which products and raw materials are reused”. Its GDP per capita is expected to reach $71,480 by 2027 from the 2022 estimate of $57,835. The Netherlands has been a member of the EU since 1958. Intra-EU trade represents 66% of the Netherlands’ exports and 42% of its imports. Besides the EU, the United States has become a strong trading partner for the Netherlands.
The other five nations that complete the top ten list are Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Israel and New Zealand.
Disclaimer: The author has no position in the stocks mentioned. Investors should view the above information not as a de facto recommendation, but as an idea for further consideration. The report has been prepared with care and any exclusions or errors in it are completely unintentional. The data is based on several reports (links provided) and information based on company websites. Rankings are based on the World Happiness Report.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.