Switzerland Wins Happiest Country Ranking; U.S. 15th of 158

Saturday, April 25, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The happiest place on earth? Not Disneyland, but Switzerland, according to a new study.


The World Happiness Report for 2015 ranks nations using a variety of factors, such as income, life expectancy, people’s charitable giving and their perceptions of corruption in government and business and personal freedoms. Based on these criteria, Switzerland came out with the highest score (7.587). Right behind it were Iceland (7.561), Denmark (7.527), Norway (7.522) and Canada (7.427).


The United States came in 15th on the list—right behind Mexico—out of 158 ranked.


John Helliwell, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia and a co-author of the report, said the goal is to broaden the scope by which governments assess how their countries are doing and to get the public interested in new ways of measuring well-being. “The people who design our institutions and govern our lives need to pay attention,” he told CBC News.


The least happy place on earth turns out to be Togo, with a score of 2.839. Faring only a little better were Burundi (2.906), Syria (3.006), Benin (3.340) and Rwanda (3.465).

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

World Happiness Report (Edited by John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs) (pdf)

World Happiness Report ranks Canada 5th (CBC News)

The Path to Happiness: Lessons From the 2015 World Happiness Report (by Jeffrey Sachs, Huffington Post)


anonamouse 9 years ago
Love these bogus comparisons. What jumps out immediately is the ridiculous ranking of the US just behind Mexico. ... Anyone who really knows Mexico will tell you, Mexicans are WAY happier than North Americans. But then, using econometrics to quantify "happiness" makes about as much sense as choosing a railroad engineer to assess global climate dynamics --- oh, wait.

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