Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country: report

Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country: report
A man walks with a child near the marina in downtown Bergen, southwestern Norway, March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov/File Photo

NEW YORK: Norway displaced Denmark as the world's happiest country in a new report released on Monday that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.

The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations.

"Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality, and confidence in government," Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The aim of the report, he added, is to provide another tool for governments, business, and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries. South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Central African Republic were at the bottom.

Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States dropped one spot to 14.

Sachs said the United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust, and corruption. Economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to pursue, he added, will make things worse.

"They are all aimed at increasing inequality – tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the health care 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.

The rankings are based on six factors – per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support, and absence of corruption in government or business.

"The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables," said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Sachs would like nations to follow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.

"I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyse it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction," he said.

Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country: report was posted in world of Geo TV - https://www.geo.tv on March 20, 2017 and was last updated on March 20, 2017. This news story is related to Amazing, Geo News, Happiness Day, Latest News, Ministers Of Happiness, United Nations Report, World News, World's Happiest Country, Donald Trump, World Happiness Report 2017, Australia, Burundi, Canada, Central African Republic, Denmark, Findland, Germany, Guinea, Iceland, Liberia, Netherlands, New York, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Uae, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ernesto Illy Foundation, Sdsn, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, United Nations. Permanent link to the news story "Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country: report" is https://www.geo.tv/latest/134899-Norway-unseats-Denmark-as-worlds-happiest-country-report.