United Nations’ World Happiness Report Reveals Happiest Country: Are You Living There?

21 March 2017, 8:35 am EDT By Anne Baker Tech Times
United Nations has published the 2016 World Happiness Report ahead of International World Happiness Day on March 20. Denmark has ranked first, making it the most happiest country on Earth.  ( Kristoffer Trolle | Flickr )

The United Nations (UN) celebrates World Happiness Day on March 20 and following tradition, has released its annual World Happiness Report in Rome.

The 2016 World Happiness Report ranks 157 countries on the basis of their happiness level. This is the fourth consecutive year when the UN has released the World Happiness Report, which takes into consideration several parameters to measure the happiness index and impact people's "subjective well-being."

Happiest Country In The World

This year's winner of the happiest country on Earth is Denmark. The Scandinavian country has been a regular in the World Happiness Report for the past few years. This is the second time Denmark has bagged the numero uno position.

Denmark was also ranked as the happiest country in the 2013 World Happiness Report. Danes have been regularly ranked the happiest people in the world, as the country bagged the third spot in 2015.

How Was The Study Conducted?

The UN report focuses primarily on the inequality of happiness amongst individuals in different countries. World Happiness figures were determined on the basis of answers from roughly 3,000 respondents in more than 150 countries.

The participants of the survey were asked to assess their current lifestyle on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 represented the worst possible life and 10 the best one they could lead.

"When the global population is split into ten geographic regions, the resulting distributions vary greatly in both shape and average values," stated researchers.

Out of all the 10 geographic regions only 2, namely Latin America and the Caribbean; and the Middle East and North Africa, had more unequally distributed happiness when compared to other parts of the world.

The analysis of the answers was broken down and explained with the help of six key variables. These variables included gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

"What we find when we study happiness around the world is that the definition is quite similar. People want to live well. They want to have money in their pocket and in the bank. They want to trust their government. They want to be healthy," said Jeffrey Sachs, author of the study.

Denmark ranked first in the happiness index because it has a per capita income of nearly $61,000 each year. The minimum wage in the country is $20 each hour. Moreover, the Danish worker unions advocate strong rights. People were also happy with the degree of freedom offered.

How Did U.S. Fare?

While Denmark was given the title of the happiest country in the world with an average point of 7.526, the U.S did not even make it to the top 10. It lingered on the thirteenth spot with a score of 7.104.

The second and third spots were occupied by last year's winner Switzerland (7.059 points) and Iceland (7.501), respectively.

Photo: Kristoffer Trolle | Flickr 

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