Money Doesn't Buy Happiness (In America)

NorwayReuters

NorwayReuters

Egypt ranks 15 among the happiest countries in the Arab world.

Norway has nabbed the top spot on the United Nations' annual World Happiness report, replacing neighbour Denmark who held the position previous year. The four social variables considered, all deteriorated over the year-the United States showed less social support, less sense of personal freedom, lower donations, and more perceived corruption of government and business.

The slight downside is that Kiwis are not quite as happy now as they were between 2005 and 2007.

"The predominant political discourse in the United States is aimed at raising economic growth, with the goal of restoring the American Dream and the happiness that is supposed to accompany it", wrote Jeffrey Sachs, one of the editors of the report and an economics professor at Columbia University.

Sadly, India has been ranked 122 behind immediate neighbours Pakistan and China, in the worldwide report of economists which rank world countries on happiness.

Where do we rank in global happiness?

This makes SA the 54th unhappiest country of the 155 included in the UN-sponsored ranking.

Singaporeans are the happiest people in Asia once again, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.

Forbes' Billionaire List Reveals Trump Is Nowhere Near the Top 10
Among others on Forbes rich list, Alibaba founder Jack Ma was ranked 23 with estimated wealth of US$28.3 billion. The number of billionaires increased 13 percent compared to 2016, the magazine noted, from 1,810 to 2,043.

The country's biggest score on the chart may have come from what researchers called "residual" happiness. I'm not sure if we're an "elite" happy country but we're like... the Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan of happy countries?

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.

The research tries to account for this through studying six main variables: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity, and absence/perception of corruption. In developed countries, self-employed people report being more satisfied than those who are traditionally employed.

Of course, happiness is both a personal and a social thing.

So which country's citizens answered most positively this year?

"The measure of 'Happiness" was based on 3,000 respondents evaluating their current lives on a ladder where 0 represents the worst possible life and 10 the best possible.

At the other end of the index, the Central African Republic is classed as the 'least happy' out of 155 countries, with Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda also making up the bottom five.

As for our fair country, it rang in at 14th on this year's list, one spot lower than in 2016.

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