Health Care

Norway named world's happiest country; U.S. ranked 14th

Norway named world's happiest country; U.S. ranked 14th

The happiest country in the world is Norway, according to the World Happiness Report, which was released this morning.

"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, the director of the SDSN and a special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general, said in an interview.

The World Happiness Report is a survey of global societal well-being that ranks 155 countries by happiness levels using variables such as GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy.

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"All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance".

Other factors considered by the United Nations included employment, income inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, public trust (i.e., a lack of corruption in government and business), and social support.

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a co-author of the report, tells Reuters that economic policies pursued by Donald Trump might lead to less happiness in the U.S.

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The US, which ranked third among OECD countries in 2007, placed 14 in this year's World Happiness Report, which attributes the drop to declining social support and increased corruption.

This year's 188-page report emphasises the importance of the social foundations of happiness - things like having someone to count on in times of trouble.

Director of the SDSN and a special adviser to the United Nations secretary general, Jeffrey Sachs, said in an interview that: "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". Other countries in the top 10 include Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. The bottom five are Central African Republic, Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda. "Let's hold our leaders to this fact", Sachs said.

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