Zurich, Switzerland Photo: Richigrafik
Switzerland is the happiest place in the world, according to the latest annual report.
The World Happiness Report, which is released every year, compares 158 countries from around the world taking into account analysis of economics, neuroscience, national statistics, and describes how measurements of subjective well-being can be used effectively to assess national progress.
“As the science of happiness advances, we are getting to the heart of what factors define quality of life for citizens,” says Professor John F. Helliwell, of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, who edits the report. “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.”
This year, Switzerland is ranked as the happiest place in the world, followed by Iceland, Denmark and Norway. Canada completes the top five. The rankings echo the global liveability report, which highlight cities in Scandanavia and Canada as offering the best quality of life to residents.
Six key variables explain three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.