Happiest Countries– The World Happiness Report is a measure of happiness published by the United Nations – Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The World Happiness Report is edited by John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs.
In July 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies. On April 2, 2012, this was followed by the first UN High Level Meeting called “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm,” which was chaired by Prime Minister Jigme Thinley of Bhutan, the first and so far only country to have officially adopted gross national happiness, instead of gross domestic product as their main development indicator
in the reports, leading experts in fields including economics, psychology, survey analysis, and national statistics, describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. Each report is organized by chapters that delve deeper into issues relating to happiness, including mental illness, the objective benefits of happiness, the importance of ethics, policy implications, and links with the OECD’s approach to measuring subjective well-being and the Human Development Report.
Data is collected from people in over 150 countries. Each variable measured reveals a populated-weighted average score on a scale running from 0 to 10 that is tracked over time and compared to other countries. These variables currently include real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption. Each country is also compared against a hypothetical nation called Dystopia. Dystopia represents the lowest national averages for each key variable and is, along with the residual error, used as a regression benchmark.
The 2017 report features the happiness score averaged over the years 2014-2016. For that time span, Norway is the overall happiest country in the world, even though oil prices have dropped. Close behind are Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland in a tight pack. All the top ten countries have high scores in the six categories. The ranked follow-on countries in the top ten are Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.
|Rank||Country||Score||GDP/Capita||Social Support||Life Expectancy||Generosity %||Trust %|