Norway named Happiest Country of 2017

The World Happiness Report is a survey of global societal well-being that ranks 155 countries by happiness levels using variables such as GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy.

Denmark can no longer claim the title of world's happiest country after being knocked off its perch by Norway.

Ranking towards the bottom of the list include sub-Saharan African countries, Syria and Yemen among others. Rattled by a slow economic recovery and deeply partisan political landscape, the US dropped down one spot from a year ago to the 14th happiest in the world.

Happiness is falling in America, thanks primarily to a drop in four key indicators - access to social support, a sense of reduced personal freedom, lower donations, and a perceived increase in corruption - rather than economic causes.

The study of happiness has become an academic field that has gained focus in recent years - the World Happiness Report contains an entire chapter on relative data for policymakers.

"Income differences matter more in poorer countries, but even their mental illness is a major source of misery", it added. In all countries, misery would be reduced more by eliminating depression and anxiety disorders than by reducing poverty, low education, unemployment, physical illness or a lack of social support.

"This report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations".

"By choosing to produce oil deliberately and investing the proceeds for the benefit of future generations, Norway has protected itself from the volatile ups and downs of many other oil-rich economies", said John Helliwell, one of the authors of the report. "It's time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls".

Director of the SDSN and a special adviser to the United Nations secretary general, Jeffrey Sachs, said in an interview that: "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". "Let's hold our leaders to this fact", said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which produced the report in association with the United Nations.

In Asia-Pacific, the kingdom trailed only New Zealand (6), Australia (9) and Singapore (26). Austria 14. United States 15.

  • Zachary Reyes