Monday, 20 March 2017

The world’s happiest country has been announced, African countries are the least

The world's happiest country has been announced (surprise - it's not the UK)

They’ve got Vikings, fjords and a fundamental social safety net – and now the coveted title of happiest country in the world.
Norway has been announced the winner in an annual report by the United Nations.

It saw off competition from Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland for a photo finish.
Sadly, the UK was not even in the race. We came in at 19th, behind Ireland which was 15th, and sandwiched between Luxembourg and Chile.

So that’s something else for us to feel miserable about.

All of the top four countries rank highly on caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance, the UN said in their World Happiness Report 2017.

The report is produced to focus on wellbeing as the key goal of public policy, rather than simple economic growth.
‘It is sometimes said that Norway achieves and maintains its high happiness not because of its oil wealth, but in spite of it,’ the report’s authors said.
‘By choosing to produce its oil slowly, and investing the proceeds for the future rather than spending them in the present, Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies.’

Like us, the United States also failed to make the Top Ten.
In 2007, it ranked third among the OECD countries but ten years later it is only at 14.

Rising inequality, drug and alcohol problems and a sense of instability have all added to America’s woes which come mainly from social rather than economic problems.
To give an example, the report said: ‘In one well-known experiment, stamped and addressed envelopes were dropped in public areas (sidewalks, shopping malls, phone booths), to see whether people pick them up and put them in a mailbox. This is a measure of helping behavior among strangers.

‘A recent study showed that the extent of helping behavior by US residents declined sharply between 2001 and 2011, but this was not true for Canadian residents.’

The results of the survey

To obtain their rankings, more than 1,000 people in each country were asked this question:
‘Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top.
‘The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?’

The number averaged out gives a sense of people’s general satisfaction.
Norway’s was 7.54 while the score for Central African Republic was 2.69.

The most and least happy countries

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Switzerland
  5. Finland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Australia
  10. Sweden
Least happy:
146. South Sudan
147. Liberia
146. Guinea
150. Togo
151. Rwanda
152. Syria
153. Tanzania
154. Burundi
155. Central African Republic

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