Norway Ranked Happiest Country Worldwide

Although Denmark lost a title it has retained regularly in recent years, there were no sour grapes amongst happiness researchers in Copenhagen.

India is among the world's least happy nations, and became even less happy in the a year ago, showed a global ranking which identified Norway as the wold's happiest country.

Germany was ranked 16th, the United Kingdom 19th and France 31st while US dropped one spot to 14th. The size of the economy is no gauge of happiness: China placed 79th.

People in the Central African Republic are unhappiest with their lives, according to the survey, followed by Burundi (154), Tanzania (153), Syria (152) and Rwanda (151).

Happiness isn't just about money, although it's part of it. Bhutan, which measures "gross domestic happiness", ranked 97th. Scores are calculated by measuring factors such as levels of caring, freedom to make life decisions, generosity, good governance, honesty, health and income.

Ghana has been ranked the 131st happiest country to live in out of 155 countries in the world.

Other neighbouring countries which saw a more cheery placing included Thailand (from 33 to 32), Vietnam (96 to 94) and the Philippines (82 to 72). "Let's hold our leaders to this fact". Norway 2. Denmark 3. "If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationships between people, is it worth it?" asked John Helliwell, the lead author of the report and an economist at the University of British Columbia in Canada (ranked No. 7).

"This emphasis on the future over the present is made easier by high levels of mutual trust, shared goal, generosity, and good governance".

The top ten nations on the list rank highly on all six of these factors.

"This year the World Happiness Report gives special attention to the social foundations of happiness, including especially happiness in the workplace", the press release said.

Work plays a key role, as unemployment causes a big drop in happiness.

"The research reveals that happiness differs considerably across employment status, job type, and industry sectors". When considering the world's population as a whole, people with a job evaluate the quality of their lives much more favourably than those who are unemployed.

"The USA is a story of reduced happiness", the study said.

And the numbers are in: Norway is the happiest country in the world.

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

Ahead of International Happiness day and the report's release, Dubai announced the formation of the World Happiness Council which will launch a global happiness report at the emirate's February World Government Summit each year.

Of all the indicators used to track the well-being of a nation it seems perverse that happiness is seldom used as the real test of success.

  • Leroy Wright