World Media

Norwegians count their blessings in world's happiest nation

Norwegians count their blessings in world's happiest nation

The report states that for every 10 percent of a country's population that establishes social support, happiness levels jump by more than 20 percent.

Once again, Nordic and Western European countries rule the roost.

The index is a global scientific study that has been conducted since 2012, and this edition looked at polling data collected from 2014 to 2016. "The United States can and should raise happiness by addressing America's multi-faceted social crisis - rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust - rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth, especially since the concrete proposals along these lines would exacerbate rather than ameliorate the deepening social crisis", the report said.

In the latest UN World Happiness Report released Monday, Algeria is in the lead, followed by Mauritius, while Libya comes in third place.

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Overall, if the nation were to focus purely on economic gains, GDP would have to increase to about $133,000 to get back to those 2006 happiness levels, the authors estimate.

Survey respondents from all countries included in the report agreed that income is more important for happiness than education.

The World Happiness Report, published by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network, measures each nation's "subjective well-being" by asking citizens to rate their life satisfaction on a 1 to 10 scale.

Somalis, on the other hand, may be living with a daily bombardment by the Al-Shabaab, but those people have retained more happiness about their country. Rattled by a slow economic recovery and deeply partisan political landscape, the USA dropped down one spot from previous year to the 14th happiest in the world.

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Additionally, Sachs believes the "severe deterioration" of the educational system in the US has played a role in the country's declining happiness, noting that the percentage of students in America achieving at least a university degree has become motionless. In developed countries, self-employed people report being more satisfied than those who are traditionally employed.

Of course, not everyone is happy.

The bottom 10 comprised Yemen, South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic.

They wrote that the six main factors which caused countries to move up and down were wealth per capita, life expectancy, social support, absence of corruption, freedom to make life decisions and generosity, measured by donations. "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".

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Behind Norway comes - surprise surprise - a lot more annoyingly flawless Nordic countries.


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