Norway named world’s happiest country20/03/17Culture
Norway has defeated Denmark to become the world’s happiest country in a report that calls on nations to build social trust and equality to improve wellbeing.
According to the World Happiness Report 2017, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) at the United Nations (UN), the Nordic nations are the most content.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.
Germany was ranked 16th, the UK 19th and France 31st.
Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN, said: “Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government.”
The rankings are based on six factors – per capita gross domestic product (GDP), healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.
The report said: ‘The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables.’
Sachs said he would like nations to follow the example of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries which had appointed ministers of happiness.
“I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyse it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction”, he added.