World happiness country rankings released

Posted Sep 9, 2013 by Ken Hanly
Canada ranks sixth according to the UN second annual World Happiness Report. The report is published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The report is intended to measure progress by specific happiness variables.
The United Nations Headquarters in New York City  NY.
The United Nations Headquarters in New York City, NY.
Sparkly Kate
Jeffrey Sachs, co-editor and director of the Columbia University's Earth Institute said that the report not only assesses a country's progress by happiness measures but also would aid policy makers in addressing the needs of their citizens. The report can be found here. Sachs maintains: "There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being,. The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a lot about ways to improve the world's well-being and sustainable development."
The report also found that there were significant side effect correlated with happier populations including longer life expectations, higher earnings, and higher productivity levels. A number of variables were included in judging happiness. The report used available data plus results from a survey of people in over 150 countries between 2010 to 2012.
Of 156 countries included in the countries, Canada ranked sixth. Denmark was first in rank followed by Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden with Canada being the highest ranked country outside of Europe. The United States ranked 17th but this was ahead of the UK number 22 and France number 25 and just behind Mexico at 16th. Most of the unhappiest countries were in Africa although Afghanistan was an exception. Benin and Togo were the unhappiest countries. Canada has slipped one rank from the first rankings in which it came fifth. After Canada in the top ten countries were Finland at number 7, Austria, Iceland and finally, the only other country outside of Europe , Australia at number ten, Northerners are supposed to be morose and moody but if we are it seems we are happy that way! Harsh winter climates seem to be correlated with happiness.In Canada and no doubt the Scandinavian countries as well, high life expectancy, high average income,, strong social ties and support programs no doubt compensate for the climate.
In the last five years, there have been significant increases in happiness levels in Latin America and the Caribbean but decreases in Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.