World's Happiest Country Is No Longer Denmark

Congrats, Norway
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2017 4:33 AM CDT
The skyline of Oslo, Norway, capital of the happiest country in the world.   (Getty/Baiaz)

(Newser) – The Danes are no longer residents of the happiest nation. The latest World Happiness Report gives the new No. 1 ranking to Norway, thanks to factors including a sense of community, low unemployment, low income inequality, and a per-person annual income of $100,000, reports USA Today. The latter figure, largely based on oil, is about double that of the US, which drops one spot to 14th in the rankings of 155 nations. "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," Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network, tells Reuters. He says the US dropped because it is "becoming more and more mean-spirited," and he cites rising corruption and income inequality, per the AP.

  • Top 10 happiest: Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.
  • 10 least happiest: Central African Republic finishes last, just ahead of Burundi, Tanzania, Syria, Rwanda, Togo, Guinea, Liberia, South Sudan, and Yemen.
  • Others: Germany (16), the UK (19), and France (31).
  • Tidbits: Mental illness is the biggest source of unhappiness in richer countries, while unemployment generally translates to a big drop in happiness.
(Read more Norway stories.)

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