Denmark Regains Title as World’s Happiest Country

"Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen"

By Jesse Sokolow on 17 March 2016
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If you’re not happy, move to a colder European country. At least that’s the message from the results of the 2016 World Happiness Report, which was released Thursday.

Denmark happily returned to its spot as the world’s happiest nation, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Finland. Others in the top ten include Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.

The United States finished 13th moving up two spots from 2015, while Israel and Austria respectively earned the No. 11 and 12 spots.

The United States fared much better than other of the world’s most populous nations. By comparison, Brazil came in at No. 17, China No. 83, Indonesia No. 79, India No. 118, Pakistan at No. 92, and Russia at No. 56.

The report was prepared by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an international panel of economists, psychologists, and public health experts convened by the United Nations. The first World Happiness Report, the creation of which was approved unanimously by the U.N. General Council in 2012, was released in 2012, ahead of the International Day of Happiness, also known as Happiness Day, which falls on March 20.

The ranking in the report were derived from a global poll conducted by Gallup each year that included a question known as the Cantril Ladder: “Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. 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. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”

If you are searching for happiness, avoid traveling to Greece. That European nation, which has remained in economic turmoil since 2007, saw the largest drop in happiness of any country, dropping to the No. 99 position.

Finally, if you are fine with unhappiness, consider a move to Burundi, or perhaps Syria, Togo, Afghanistan, Benin, Rwanda, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania, or Madagascar. These nations are not only very poor but many have been destabilized by war and disease.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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