Advert

Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country; Malta 27th from 155 countries

Norwegians are the happiest, according to the report.

Norwegians are the happiest, according to the report.

Norway displaced Denmark as the world's happiest country in a new report released today that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.

Malta placed 27th from 155 surveyed countries, up three places from 30th out of 157 countries surveyed last year.

The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked.

"Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government," Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The six main variables considered are GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times
of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations). 

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top 10 countries.

South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic were at the bottom.

Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19).

France (31), Spain (34) Poland (46) and Italy (48) were among the countries behind Malta.

Malta's ranking was elevated because of its GDP per capita and social support. 

The United States dropped one spot to 14.

Sachs said the United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. Economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to pursue, he added, will make things worse.

"They are all aimed at increasing inequality – tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending. I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction," he explained.

The rankings are based on six factors -- per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.

"The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables," said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Sachs would like nations to follow United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.

"I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyze it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction," he said.

Advert

See our Comments Policy Comments are submitted under the express understanding and condition that the editor may, and is authorised to, disclose any/all of the above personal information to any person or entity requesting the information for the purposes of legal action on grounds that such person or entity is aggrieved by any comment so submitted. Please allow some time for your comment to be moderated.

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert