If you want to live in the world's happiest country, you might want to shift to Norway, as it has been termed as the world's happiest country according to a report released on Monday. But the happiness of the people in China didn't scale up with the growth of economics because of the high unemployment rate and weak social welfare.
A bit of cold isn't keeping Norway from basking in the warmth of being the world's happiest country, a United Nations report out Monday found.
In fact, among the wealthier countries the differences in happiness levels had a lot to do with "differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships: the biggest single source of misery is mental illness", the report said.
Norway has jumped from 4th place in 2016 to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch.
Notable mentions include the United States at 14, Britain at 18 and the South American nation of Chile at 20.
Studying happiness may seem frivolous, but serious academics have always been calling for more testing about people's emotional well-being, especially in the United States.
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"For many years, Norway has been behind Denmark in this ranking". But at a certain point extra money doesn't buy extra happiness, Helliwell and others said. The least happy nations: Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic.
The rankings are based on six factors - GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations).
Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). "African people demonstrate ingenuity that makes life bearable even under less than ideal circumstances".
Study co-author and economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University said in a phone interview from Oslo that the sense of community, so strong in Norway, is deteriorating in the United States.
"America's crisis is, in short, a social crisis", Sachs wrote. He said that President Trump's economic measures were "all aimed at increasing inequality - tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending. I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction", he explained.