Vancouver may have been ranked the unhappiest city in Canada last year, but Canada was just ranked in the top ten happiest countries in the world.
The World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. And, for the second year in a row, Finland took the top spot.
Denmark came second, with Norway placing third. Further, eight out of the top ten countries were located in Europe.
Researchers note that the top-performing countries on the index tend to score high in key variables for well-being: income, life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.
Canada fell two spots from last year’s seventh place finish, ranking ninth. However, our neighbours to the south, the United States, fell five positions to the 19th spot.
Alongside the country ranking, the report also focuses on how the notion of happiness has changed over the last decade with the evolution of technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies.
“This year’s report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US,” said chapter author Jeffrey Sachs.
“Addictions come in many forms, from substance abuse to gambling to digital media. The compulsive pursuit of substance abuse and addictive behaviours is causing severe unhappiness. Government, business, and communities should use these indicators to set new policies aimed at overcoming these sources of unhappiness.”
Happiest Countries in the World
8. New Zealand
With files from Relax News.