U.S. 14th, Canada 7th, in ranking or world's happiest countries

However, the day may not necessarily have been a happy one for everyone in the world especially after the release of the latest World Happiness Report.

The U.S. doesn't even rank in the top 10 happiest countries -coming in 14th place out of the 155 nations polled in 2016 - and it was almost a full point below Norway, which was rated the happiest country with a 7.6. After Norway in the list, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.

The director of SDSN is Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who is also the head of the Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development, that is financed by a US$10.0 million grant by the not-for-profit Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and housed at the Sunway University in Malaysia - and is well known to Malaysians.

The world's "least happiest" countries include a number of African countries - with Central African Republic, Burundi and Tanzania ranked lowest - while Syria is ranked 152nd of 155 countries.

The report is compiled using Gallup polls, which ask people to evaluate various aspects of their lives on a scale from 0 to 10.

A typical national sample size is 3,000 respondents.

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.

The UN report released on Monday showed that India was behind the majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations, apart from war-ravaged Afghanistan, that stood at 141.

"Both suffered decimation of their banking systems as extreme as anywhere, and yet suffered incommensurately small happiness losses", the report suggests. Turns out that the cold European countries are the happiest - you'll find majority under top 10.

The report surveys people from various countries around the world looking for which one has the happiest population.

Qualities such as "caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance", keep Norwegians happy, despite the country's struggle amid falling oil prices, the report read.

The report also pointed out that as far as rich countries were concerned, the biggest misery for them was mental illness.

Last December, Global risk analysts Verisk Maplecroft also named Mexico as the third most unsafe country in the world, ahead of Iraq and Syria.

Even though the report takes in both economic and social factors, in the case of United States, happiness is falling, primarily due to social causes rather than economic. But that doesn't mean the people in those countries feel happy.

  • Leroy Wright