Happier than the Aussies, but not as merry as the Scandinavians. New Zealand ranks number 8 on the World Happiness Index, which is a pretty impressive position for a country with little more than 4 million people. We’ve found some pretty interesting facts on New Zealand who might have a fair share in the contribution to happiness.
- No corruption – In January, Transparency International rated New Zealand and Denmark as equal least corrupt countries in the world.
- Another high score – prosperity index: New Zealand tops the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index – again – out of 149 countries. Oh, and a month before that The World Bank ranked us New Zealand as the best country in which to do business.
- Big yet small – New Zealand is one of the world’s least populated countries with over 4 million populations. 30% of the country is a forest.
- Meaning – The Maori name of New Zealand is Aotearoa which means the land of the long white cloud. And New Zealanders are called kiwis but kiwi is not a fruit. It is New Zealand’s native flightless bird.
- They see us rollin’ – New Zealanders love cars with 2.5 million cars for 4 million people making them one of the countries to have the highest car ownership rate in the world.
- Morning! – Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sunrise because it is 496.3 kilometers away from the International Date Line.
- There are earthquakes all the time. – New Zealand experiences about 15,000 earthquakes per year but thankfully most of these are so deep they cannot be felt. However, about 150-200 earthquakes are felt up and down the country each year, some much more severe than others.
- Barefoot – people seem to enjoy walking barefoot whenever and wherever possible.
- Can you repeat that name? – The longest place name in the world is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, a hill in Hawkes Bay. The 85-letter town in Hawke’s Bay is in the Guinness World Records for the longest place name in the world.
- Crowded – More people live in Auckland than in the whole of the South Island.
- Nowhere – There are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand.
- Naughty boys – 94% of all prisoners in NZ are male.
- The railway passes through landing strip – New Zealand isn’t exactly pushed for space when it comes to public transport, but they still decided to put a railway line right through the middle of an airport anyway. The Palmerston North-Gisborne railway line passes right through the middle of Gisborne Airport. In fact, steam train tourist trips take place a few times a month on this very railway line.
Whereas New Zealand is ranked higher on the World Happiness Index than its Australian neighbors, the Aussies have some pretty interesting facts too!