Money may not buy love, but it seems to go a long way to securing happiness, according to a new report from the United Nations.
Table of contents
The report measures how happy people living in 155 countries really are by speaking to thousands worldwide.
One conclusion is that people in many of the countries topping the list are considerably richer than those propping up the table.
Another is political and economic instability seriously inhibits happiness.
The happiest country in the world is Norway, closely followed by the other Scandinavian nations of Denmark, Iceland and Finland, together with the ubiquitous Swiss.
The top 10 countries were the same countries in the 2016 top 10, although some placings changed.
In the bottom 10 are war-torn Yemen and Syria, South Sudan, with the Central African Republic at the bottom.
For expats, the popular destinations of New Zealand and Australia take 8th and 9th places; the US is 14th and UK 19th.
The United Arab Emirates is ranked 21st, France 31st and Spain 34th.
To score happiness, the UN looked at GDP a head, healthy life expectancy, freedom, corruption, generosity, dystopia and social support.
The report also highlights African countries tend to lag the rest of the world in happiness.
“Many African countries are still waiting for the changes needed to improve their lives and to make them happy. In short, African people’s expectations that they and their countries would flourish under self-rule and democracy appear not yet to have been met,” says the report.
“Africa’s lower levels of happiness compared to other countries in the world, therefore, might be attributed to disappointment with different aspects of development under democracy.
“Although most citizens still believe that democracy the best political system, they are critical of governance in their countries.”
The countries where happiness has improved since 2005 are Nicaragua, Latvia and Sierra Leone.
Those where people are sadder are Greece, Central African Republic and Venezuela.
Top 10 happy nations
- New Zealand
Bottom 10 least happy nations
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
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