Money Doesn't Buy Happiness (In America, at Least)

Friends enjoying some champagne together

Friends enjoying some champagne together

After ranking fourth for the last two years, Norway emerged at the top, displacing three-time topper Denmark for the first time.

The report also said people in China were no happier than they had been 25 years ago while happiness has fallen in America.

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

Im comparison, the unhappiest countries in the world are Central African Republic, Burundi and Tanzania respectively.

India ranked near the bottom in the six factors, income, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom and trust, that go into ranking, even though one of the metrics, GDP per capita income, has been improving all the time, proving again that money does not beget happiness. Ukraine also appears among them, emerging as the odd one out - something that can be easily explained by their ongoing conflict with Russian Federation due to the occupation of Crimea.

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Happiness, Mahatma Gandhi said, is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Jeffrey Sachs, the director of Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) which published the World Happiness Report said. Well, we might not aspire to the top of the table yet the benchmarks show that our economy as well as the key measures of individual happiness are healthy and thriving. The information will be fun to consume - especially for people who live in the world's happiest countries - but leaders should pay close attention to the results.

The country was pipped to the post by Norway, which took the No 1 spot, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland rounding out the top five.

This was according to the 2017 World Happiness Report, which gave a mixed report for our Asian neighbours.

An increase in GDP would have much less of an impact on the U.S.'s overall happiness level than improvements in other aspects of life, researchers said. The four social variables all deteriorated-the U.S. showed less social support, less sense of personal freedom, lower donations, and more perceived corruption of government and business. That boosted the per person annual income, as measured by economic output, to more than $US100,000 ($130,000) - almost double that of the United States. Canada is seventh, Israel is 11th, the United States fell from 13th in 2016 to 14th, and Germany ranks 16th.

"America's crisis is, in short, a social crisis, not an economic crisis", the study notes. And while higher pay clearly makes workers happier, work-life balance, job security, health and safety, social capital and autonomy are also predictive of a higher state of happiness on the job.

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