Norway Is The World’s New Happiest Country – Money Can’t Buy Happiness

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Mar 21 2017
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Denmark is no longer the world’s happiest country. From fourth place last year, Norway has jumped to take over the place as the new happiest nation on planet Earth. Three-time winner Denmark was bumped to second place. Of the 155 countries ranked; Rwanda, Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and Central African Republic were the top-5 least happy countries.


According to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012, countries were measured based on 6 factors – real GDP per capita, life expectancy at birth, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

Norway - Happiest Country 2017

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said – “Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government.”


Besides Norway and Denmark, the other 8 nations making up the top-10 happiest countries in the world are Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. European Union powerhouse Germany was ranked 16th, followed by the United Kingdom (19th) and France (31st), while the United States dropped one spot to 14th.

Top 21 Happiest Countries - World Happiness Report 2017

United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. And based on the liberals’ hatred at President Donald Trump, you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you that the U.S. ranking will drop like a rock next year. Mr. Sachs has actually recommended that unhappy nations copy an Arab nation – U.A.E. – in appointing a Minister of Happiness.


Yes, in case you didn’t know, despite its mind-boggling wealth, United Arab Emirates has a female minister – Ohood Al Roumi – appointed last year as Minister of Happiness. After the Gulf nation plunged to 28th place last year from 20th in 2015, the U.A.E.’s ranking has improved by seven places to 21st on the latest World Happiness Report 2017.

Ohood binti Khalfan Al Roumi – U.A.E. Minister of Happiness

While U.A.E. is proud to be the champion and the happiest Arab country, Saudi Arabia’s ranking has decreased from 34th to 37th. Two other wealthiest Gulf nations – Bahrain and Qatar – saw their rankings improve to 41st (from 42nd) and 35th (from 36th) respectively. Kuwait, another rich Arab nation, also rose from 41st to 39th spot.


But having a Minister of Happiness doesn’t guarantee happiness to the people of a country. Venezuela has its Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness since 2013. But it didn’t boost happiness when the country dropped from 20th happiest in the world in 2013, to 23rd happiest in 2015 and subsequently to the latest rank of 82nd happiest in the world in 2017.

World's Happiest Country - Singapore Phua Chu Kang

In Southeast Asia, Singapore dominates the ranking as the happiest country although they were much happier a year ago. Dropped from 22nd place last year, Singapore is now ranked the 26th. The latest ranking put Malaysia up five places from last year to 42nd happiest country now. Still, Malaysians are less happy than their neighbour as Thailand improves to 32nd spot from 33rd.


Essentially, Malaysia is now the fourth happiest country in Asia behind Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan (from 42nd to 33rd). It appears Malaysians are a bunch of happy people despite numerous complaints and problems. Other Southeast Asia countries also have improved on their rankings – Vietnam (from 96th to 94th) and the Philippines (from No. 82 to No. 72).

World's Happiest Country - Taiwan People Gathering

As the happiest nation in East Asia, Taiwan (33rd) is ahead of its rival mainland China (79th), Japan (51st), South Korea (56th) and Hong Kong (71st). Although China has made major economic strides in recent years, its people are not happier than 25 years ago. While you’re scratching your head in disbelief, there are more surprises.


India is ranked 122nd happiest country in the world, dropping 4 slots from last year, and is now behind terror-haven Pakistan (80th), Nepal (99th), Bhutan (97th), Bangladesh (110th), Sri Lanka (120th) and even Somalia (93rh) and Ethiopia (119th). This shows money can’t buy happiness because certain people tends to be grumpy, disillusioned, spiteful, vindictive and whatnot.

World's Happiest Country - People of India Unhappy


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