Tuesday, September 17, 2013

World Happiness Report: Where Do You Rank?

How do you rank your happiness?
Image: Shutterstock
The United Nations has once more released their World Happiness Report, which details which nations are the happiest in the world. The survey is a Gallup poll of 1,000 people and has participants rank their own happiness based on specific measures of happiness. People rank their lives as a whole, with a zero signifying the worst possible situation and a ten being the best.

The six main factors people were asked to report on include per capita GDP, life expectancy, someone to count on (friends, family, support groups), freedom to make life choices, generosity (philanthropic giving), and freedom from corruption. The report was published by the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the first time last year (2012).

Denmark snagged the top spot with an average score of 7.693. Where do the rest of the 156 countries surveyed fall? Here’s a glance at the report’s findings, with the top 20 spots:
The Danes rated themselves the happiest people on earth.
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Denmark (7.693)
  2. Norway (7.655)
  3. Switzerland (7.650)
  4. Netherlands (7.512)
  5. Sweden (7.480)
  6. Canada (7.477)
  7. Finland (7.389)
  8. Austria (7.369)
  9. Iceland (7.355)
  10. Australia (7.350)
  11. Israel (7.301)
  12. Costa Rica (7.257)
  13. New Zealand (7.221)
  14. United Arab Emirates (7.144)
  15. Panama (7.143)
  16. Mexico (7.088)
  17. United States (7.082)
  18. Ireland (7.076)
  19. Luxembourg (7.054)
  20. Venezuela (7.039)
The unhappiest countries included Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, Benin, and Togo; these countries all had scores at 3.715 or below—a far cry from the world’s happiest places to be.

Overall, global happiness increased slightly. Of course, that’s not for all countries—it’s just a general upward trend that hopefully continues over the coming years. To see the complete list, look at more increases and decreases in overall happiness, and more, check out the complete World Happiness Report 2013.

How would you rank yourself out of ten on the six factors: per capita GDP, life expectancy, someone to count on, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption? Here’s where I would say I fall:

Per Capita GDP—5
Life expectancy—10
Someone to count on—10
Freedom to make life choices—8
Generosity—7
Freedom from corruption—8

That makes my average about 7.6—not bad! Life certainly isn’t perfect, but I am finally finding a balance and a contentedness that I’ve never known before, and I’m grateful for that.
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