Here's how happy the Swedes are, according to this report

"The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people - their well-being", Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, said in a statement.

The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden were also placed in the top 10.

India ranked at 122 out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017, four notches below its previous rank of 118.

Swedes are (still) among the world's ten happiest nations, according to the new edition of an annual report which this year shows a power shift among the Scandinavian countries. "The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better", the report states. Yet money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness, the report said.

Not-so-fun fact for those who prefer to look on the darker side of things: In terms of changes in happiness levels from 2005-2007 to 2014-2016, Singapore is ranked 80th (of 126 countries) with a slight decrease in happiness.

So which country's citizens answered most positively this year?

Perhaps the factors that effectively demonstrate a nation's overall happiness can be used to understand local satisfaction, as well. Norway claimed the top spot, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland.

The US ranked 14th while the United Kingdom 19th. Experts now agree that other measures, such as social support, the spirit of generosity, and freedom of choice, all of which go into the Happiness index, matter as well.

When it comes to the least happiest nations, the Central African Republic takes last place, with Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda adding to the bottom five.

"The United States can and should raise happiness by addressing America's multi-faceted social crisis - rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust - rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth", the authors said. An average score of 6.99 for happiness put the country in 14th place, ranking one place lower than in last year's report.

It also delves into different case-studies, including why Africa remains terminally unhappy and why China's smiles are on the rise.

  • Leroy Wright


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