A new World Happiness Report 2017 named Norway as the happiest country in the world. The factors considered for the report included the GDP per capita, life expectancy, freedom on life choices, generosity as well as public trust. The unhappiest nations listed were mostly part of the African continent.
Norway moved to the top from its fourth spot in 2016. The data measured the country’s economic health which the economists compiled for over three years. In 2016, Denmark took the number one spot but this year, Denmark fell to second place. Switzerland, Iceland, and Finland followed Denmark on the list. Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Sweden completed the top 10 countries in the World Happiness Report. The United States landed at the 14th place while the United Kingdom settles at the 19th spot.
In the Asian region, Singapore ranked 26th, China at 79th, South Korea at 56th, Japan at 51st and Hong Kong at 71st. The Philippines ranked at 72nd place, an improvement from its 82nd spot. India placed at 122 while the Afghanistan sits at 141. Pakistan ranked 80th, Nepal at 99th, Bangladesh at 110, Sri Lanka at 120 and Bangladesh stood at 110th. The bottom of the list of 155 countries is the Central African Republic, followed by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria, Rwanda and Togo.
April 2012 saw the publication of the first World Happiness Report in support of the UN High-Level Meeting on happiness and well-being. Four years later, the world has come a long way. Now, happiness is used as one of the proper measures of social progress.
World Happiness Report 2017: Money is not the sole reason for happiness
The report found half-dozen socioeconomic factors that explain the difference in happiness among the countries. However, the authors also looked at some social factors. The authors of the report cited that substantial economic growth does not inculcate happiness, which is proven with the lower ranking of U.S. and China. Economics was not the major factor to measure happiness with Norway and other Nordic countries that dominated the list.
Some people might not consider the study of happiness as a serious matter. However, academics have been asking to test the people’s emotional well-being. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. released a report which recommended that the federal statistics and surveys will include a few extra question on people’s happiness.
The top ten spots came from wealthier developed nations. Nonetheless, the report stated that money is not the only ingredient for happiness. In fact, other wealthier countries have differences in happiness levels. Basically, money is not the only reason why some other countries ranked higher than the others. The report tested the differences in physical health, mental health, and personal relationships. The report found out that a source of misery is mental illness.
Source: World Happiness Report 2017