10 Happiest Countries in the World from World Happiness Report 2013
Happiness is something that everyone strives for and the term “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” was even important to the writers of American Declaration of Independence. I often cover lists that rank Canada on the world’s stage in posts like best country to live, smartest countries, the happiest countries, the most peaceful countries, the most sustainable countries, the friendliest countries, the most charitable countries, the most prosperous countries, the best countries for quality of life, the best countries for business, the top countries for life expectancy, the best countries for working women, the best country for world travel & tourism, the best countries for human development, the top countries for Clean Capitalism, the best country for child well-being, the best countries from social progress, the best countries for higher education, the most popular countries, the least corrupt countries, the best countries for paid vacation days, the countries with the best reputation, the best countries for global professionals, the best countries for ease of doing business, the best countries for starting a business, the best country for business, the best country for customer satisfaction and the most gay positive country. I’m continuing this trend today with a look at the 10 happiest countries from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (UNSDSN) 2nd annual World Happiness Report.
I covered the inaugural 2012 version of this report which was commissioned for the April 2nd 2012 United Nations Conference on Happiness (mandated by the UN General Assembly). This 2nd edition was edited by: John Helliwell: Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR); Richard Layard: director, Well-Being Programme, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; and Jeffrey Sachs: director, the Earth Institute, Columbia University.
“The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a lot about ways to improve the world’s well-being and sustainable development.” – Jeffrey D. Sachs, co-editor and director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
The report surveyed 156-nations and they were measured on criteria including healthy life expectancy, perceptions of corruption, GDP per capita, freedom to make life choices, social support and generosity. These criteria were then measured and a score out of ten was assigned to each nation. Based on these findings, the 10 happiest countries in the world are:
- Denmark: 2012 ranking: 1st – 2013 score out of 10: 7.693
- Norway : 2012 ranking: 3rd – 2013 score out of 10: 7.655
- Switzerland: 2012 ranking: 6th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.650
- The Netherlands: 2012 ranking: 4th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.512
- Sweden: 2012 ranking: 7th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.480
- Canada: 2012 ranking: 5th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.477
- Finland: 2012 ranking: 2nd – 2013 score out of 10: 7.389
- Austria: 2012 ranking: 13th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.369
- Iceland – 2012 ranking: 20th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.355
- Australia: 2012 ranking: 9th – 2013 score out of 10: 7.350
Canada’s 6th place finish represented the highest in North America while Mexico ranked 16th and the United States came in 17th. The report found that North American countries were happier from 2005 to 2007 then they were from 2010 to 2012, while the opposite is true for Latin America and the Caribbean.
This report helps shed a light on the over-all well-being of people around the world and provides information that can prove valuable for tourism, business, governments and other organizations.
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