The latest World Happiness Report reveals which countries have the happiest residents – and Britain is not even in the top 20
24 Apr 2015
It may be better known for banking than bohemia, but Switzerland is the happiest place in the world to live, according to the annual study published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
The World Happiness Report suggested that residents of the nation of lakes, Lindt and Roger Federer, are more content, on average, than those in any other country. Britons, by contrast, were judged to only be the 21st happiest of the 158 nations to feature.
The second happiest nation was deemed to be Iceland, followed byDenmark (a previous winner), Norway and Canada. Scandinavian countries once again dominated the top ten.
In determining what it means to be happy, the report took into account peoples’ own evaluations of their lives and considered factors including real GDP per capita, health and life expectancy, perceptions of corruption, social support and the freedom to make life decisions.
Women, on the whole, claimed to be slightly happier than men across the globe.
“Increasingly happiness is considered a proper measure of social progress and goal of public policy,” the report said.
“Many national leaders are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations,” it added, going on to list David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
Our cousins across the Atlantic also fare better than us Britons, with Americans placed 15th in the list.
The world’s least happy countries were also revealed in the report, which was first published in 2012.
War-torn and African nations featured heavily, with Togo coming bottom in the list, just below Burundi, Syria, Benin, Rwanda and Afghanistan. It is the second year in a row that Togo, a country known for political violence and ivory smuggling on Africa’s west coast, has been judged to be the world’s unhappiest.