Least Stressed-Out Countries

Money doesn't necessarily make people happy, but it certainly helps. The least stressed-out countries had the highest GDP per capita and the lowest income inequality.

Money doesn’t necessarily make people happy, but it certainly helps. According to a new list, the least stressed-out countries had the highest GDP per capita and the lowest income inequality.

Bloomberg’s list of Most Stressed-Out: Countries ranked 74 countries on seven equally weighted variables that would lead to stressful living environments, such as annual homicide rate, income inequality and unemployment rate. Northern European countries dominated the 10 least stressful countries, while America trails at number 21.

To calculate the total scores, Bloomberg allotted 0 points to the country with the least-stressful measure for each variable and 100 points for the country deemed to have the highest stress level. The remaining 72 countries were scored on a percentile basis depending on where they fell between those two extremes.

Countries with the lowest income inequality based on the Gini coefficient were at the top of the list. On the Gini Index a score of 0 represents perfect equality (no country came close) while 100 represents perfect inequality (where one person has all the money).

9. (tie) Canada

Toronto. Copyright John Vetterli.

Total score: 16.6

GDP per capita: $52,364

Income inequality: 32.1

Unemployment rate: 7.3%

Life expectancy (years): 82

Homicides per 100,000: 1.6

Canadian workers don’t have it so bad, unless they’re women. While the country is ranked seventh best for doing business, ninth for highest minimum wage and 12 for highest salaries in OECD, the country is ranked tenth for biggest gender gap in earnings. The average pay for a man exceeds the average pay for a women by 19.7%, which is still better than America’s 23%.

9. (tie) Germany

Frankfurt. Copyright Mylius.

Total score: 16.6

GDP per capita: $44,010

Income inequality: 27

Unemployment rate: 5.7%

Life expectancy (years): 81

Homicides per 100,000: 0.8

While being the third most innovative country in the world and fifth best for doing business, it also has the seventh largest gender gap in earnings. The country is also rapidly aging (11) with senior citizens making up 20% of the population.

8. Iceland

Suthureyri, Iceland. Copyright Brad Weber.

Total score: 15.4

GDP per capita: $44,121

Income inequality: 28

Unemployment rate: 5%

Life expectancy (years): 82

Homicides per 100,000: 0.3

Iceland ranks third in the world for the best countries for workers because of its good pay, generous benefits and smart colleagues. The gender wage gap isn’t very large either, ranked 26 in the world.

7. Finland

Helsinki.

Total score: 14.9

GDP per capita: $48,707

Income inequality: 26.8

Unemployment rate: 8.1%

Life expectancy (years): 81

Homicides per 100,000: 2.2

Unfortunately, Finland is the fifth most rapidly aging country and it ranks 10 for the greatest loss of land. Although it is the thirteenth best country for workers, the gender gap in earnings is big enough to land Finland at number nine.

6. Denmark

Nyhavn canal in Copenhagen. Wikipedia.org.

Total score: 13.8

GDP per capita: $58,668

Income inequality: 24.8

Unemployment rate: 7.6%

Life expectancy (years): 79

Homicides per 100,000: 0.9

Austerity measures in Denmark aren’t very harsh (54 in the world), possibly because the Dutch aren’t very prone to decadent lifestyles (27 for vices). But while it ranks as the fourth best country for workers, its psychiatrists are the eleventh busiest in the EU.

5. Australia

Brisbane. EzykronHD | Wikipedia.org.

Total score: 12.2

GDP per capita: $68,939

Income inequality: 30.3

Unemployment rate: 5.3%

Life expectancy (years): 82

Homicides per 100,000: 1

A high minimum wage (third) and high salary (seventh) have led to Aussies being prone to vices and living decadent lives (third in the world). The country ranked sixth best for doing business.

4. Sweden

Gothenburg. Copyright Rob Sinclair.

Total score: 12.1

GDP per capita: $60,020

Income inequality: 23

Unemployment rate: 8.1%

Life expectancy (years): 82

Homicides per 100,000: 1

Despite being stress free and the fifth most innovative country, Swedes deal with the ninth harshest austerity measures and the sixth highest gas prices.

3. Switzerland

The Rhine River in Basel. Copyright Norbert Aepli.

Total score: 9.2

GDP per capita: $80,473

Income inequality: 29.6

Unemployment rate: 3.2%

Life expectancy (years): 83

Homicides per 100,000: 0.7

Residents of Switzerland are not only unstressed, they live long lives after retirement—an average of 18 years after retirement compared to just 12 for Americans. And they should be able to enjoy their Golden Years since Switzerland ranks fourth for highest salaries in OECD.

2. Luxembourg

Old City of Luxembourg City. Copyright Benh Lieu Song.

Total score: 7.1

GDP per capita: $112,135

Income inequality: 26

Unemployment rate: 6.3%

Life expectancy (years): 82

Homicides per 100,000: 2.5

Luxembourg might have so little stress because it’s a great country to work in. The country ranked number one for highest minimum wage and number second for the highest salaries in OCED with an average annual wage of $52,847 and only behind the United States ($54,450).

1. Norway

World Heritage Site Bryggen in Bergen. Copyright G.Lanting | Wikipedia.org

Total score: 5.4

GDP per capita: $105,478

Income inequality: 25

Unemployment rate: 3.1%

Life expectancy (years): 81

Homicides per 100,000: 0.6

Also ranks seventh for heaviest countries, 20 for biggest gender gap in earnings and second for highest gas prices. Tenth for highest salaries in OECD and sixth best country for workers.