The results are in from the World Happiness Report. (Photo: Getty Images)
Which country is happiest? Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s the one that eats the most chocolate.
The results of this year’s World Happiness Report are in — and Switzerland scored the top spot in the ranking. The report is based on data from 158 countries with regard to six factors: GDP per capita, absence of corruption, generosity, social support, freedom, and healthy life expectancy. The report was released by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The 10 happiest countries were found mostly in Europe:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
And for a more global look at the happiest countries, check out this map from the report:
The darker and greener the color, the higher the country ranked in the happiness report. (World Happiness Report)
Similar to the previous reports, the happiness factor was judged on a scale from 0 to 10, where the average global number totaled 5.1. Switzerland, for instance, had a number of 7.587, while the U.S. — which came in at No. 15 in the ranking — had a 7.119. (The U.S. ranked 11th in 2012.)
Out of all the countries included in the ranking, Togo came in last. The bottom 10 countries in the ranking are:
- Togo (Ranked last)
- Burkina Faso
- Ivory Coast
The authors of the report noted that a few common sources of true contentment among the happiest countries were the ability to trust those in your neighborhood, as well as those in a government position. Another marker: being surrounded by people who show empathy for others (which can be shown by random acts of kindness, such as volunteering in a local charity or returning a lost wallet).
“As the science of happiness advances, we are getting to the heart of what factors define quality of life for citizens,” John F. Helliwell, a professor from the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a co-editor for the report, said in a statement. “We are encouraged that more and more governments around the world are listening and responding with policies that put well-being first. Countries with strong social and institutional capital not only support greater well-being, but are more resilient to social and economic crises.”
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