Norway is consistently ranked among the top countries in any indicators of happiness. And while a relatively small population sitting on trillions of dollars in oil is part of the reason, there's a cultural element as well.

Norwegians could have easily sold off oil rights for quick gains when companies came knocking on their door. But instead, the country took a more egalitarian approach to spreading the wealth across society.

Norway has parlayed its largesse into creating a sizeable social welfare system.