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Sweden ranked among the top 10 happiest countries in the world

Mar 21, 2017 anne_pihl
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The World Happiness Report 2017, which ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels, was launched yesterday at the United Nations. The report was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an international panel of social scientists convened by the UN.

It makes for interesting reading and points to Scandinavia as the happiest place on earth, with all the Nordic countries making the top 10. Norway has jumped from 4th place in 2016 to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch.

Report highlights

-Norway was ranked the happiest country in the world

-Northern Europe is happiest and Africa least happy

-People in China are no happier than 25 years ago

-Happiness has fallen in America

Learn more:  You can download the full report at

The world’s happiest countries


The world’s least happy countries


What is the basis for the rankings?

The ranking mainly relies on asking a simple subjective question of more than 1000 people every year in 155 countries.  This following simple life evaluation question is posed by Gallup, the polling organisation.

”Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”

What is happiness?

The key variables used to explain happiness differences among countries and through time are

  • income
  • healthy life expectancy
  • having someone to count on in times of trouble
  • generosity
  • freedom
  • trust

Note: The latter is measured by the absence of corruption in business and government.

Welcome to Scandinavia, happiest place on earth!

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