Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2015

World Happiness Report ranks The US 15th happiest country in the world

Israel ranked 11th, The U.S. 15th, England 21st, Germany 26th, France 29th, Spain 36th, Italy 50th, Rusia 64th Iran 110th.

 

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The 2015 World Happiness Report, published today, ranks Canada fifth for subjective well-being among 158 countries worldwide. Canada has moved up one place in the rankings since the last report in 2013.

The report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), contains analysis from leading experts in the fields of economics, neuroscience, national statistics, and describes how measurements of subjective well-being can be used to assess national progress effectively.

The first World Happiness Report, released in 2012. This latest report digs even deeper into the data looking at country trends since the first report, regional indicators, factors in gender and age, and the importance of investing in social capital. Women show higher life-satisfaction levels than men in Canada at a level that is statistically significant.

The report identifies the countries with the highest levels of happiness:

1. Switzerland
2. Iceland

3. Denmark

4. Norway

5. Canada

The five countries at the bottom of the list are:

  • Rwanda
  • Benin
  • Syria
  • Burundi
  • Togo

The U.S. ranked 15th, bested slightly by its southern neighbour Mexico.

Israel 11th, England 21st, Germany 26th, France 29th, Spain 36th, Italy 50th, Rusia 64th Iran 110th.

The variables used to formulate final scores are:

  • Income.
  • Healthy years of life expectancy.
  • Availability of social support.
  • Generosity (i.e. how many people have donated to charity in the last month).
  • Perceptions of corruption in government and business.
  • Individuals’ perceptions of their personal freedoms.

Since it was first published in 2012, the World Happiness Report demonstrated that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy.

“The aspiration of society is the flourishing of its members, ” said Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and of SDSN, “This report gives evidence on how to achieve societal well-being. It’s not by money alone, but also by fairness, honesty, trust, and good health. The evidence here will be useful to all countries as they pursue the new Sustainable Development Goals.”

On a scale running from 0 to 10, people in over 150 countries, surveyed by Gallup over the period 2012-15, reveal an average score of 5.1 (out of 10). Six key variables explain three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries:

The World Happiness Report 2015 shows that at both the individual and national levels, all measures of well-being, including emotions and life evaluations, are strongly influenced by the quality of the surrounding social norms and institutions. These include family and friendships at the individual level, the presence of trust and empathy at the neighborhood and community levels, and power and quality of the over-arching social norms that determine the quality of life within and among nations and generations. When these social factors are well-rooted and readily available, communities and nations are more resilient.

 

 

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