How Happy is the World? 2015 World Happiness Report Might Surprise You!

The World Happiness Report for 2015 was recently published. It is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. How happy is the world?

World Happiness Image

This Report, by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network contains analysis from leading experts in the fields of economics, neuroscience, national statistics, and ranks the happiness of nations.

“As the science of happiness advances, we are getting to the heart of what factors define quality of life for citizens,” said Professor John F. Helliwell, who was an editor of the Report from the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Other distinguished editors of the Report were: Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Director of the SDSN, and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.

“We are encouraged that more and more governments around the world are listening and responding with policies that put well-being first. Countries with strong social and institutional capital not only support greater well-being, but are more resilient to social and economic crises,” said Helliwell. There is a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as criteria for government policy.

World Happiness Report 2

As previous reports have done, the World Happiness Report 2015 reveals trends in the data judging just how happy countries really are. On a scale running from 0 to 10, people in over 150 countries, surveyed by Gallup over the period 2012-15, reveal an average score of 5.1 (out of 10). Six key variables explain three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries:

  1. Real GDP per capita
  2. Healthy life expectancy
  3. Having someone to count on
  4. Perceived freedom to make life choices
  5. Freedom from corruption
  6. Generosity

This year ,for the first time ever, the report breaks down the data by gender, age, and region. It finds striking differences, some much larger than have previously been found.

Which countries are happiest? The results might surprise you! According to the criteria of this report, Mexico ranks higher in happiness than the United States.

Happiest Countries in the World

Residents were asked to score their quality of life on a scale from 0-10.

1 Switzerland 7.587
2 Iceland 7.561
3 Denmark 7.527
4 Norway 7.522
5 Canada 7.427
6 Finland 7.406
7 Netherlands 7.378
8 Sweden 7.364
9 New Zealand 7.286
10 Australia 7.284
11 Israel 7.278
12 Costa Rica 7.226
13 Austria 7.200
14 Mexico 7.187
15 United States 7.119
16 Brazil 6.983
17 Luxembourg 6.946
18 Ireland 6.940
19 Belgium 6.937
20 United Arab Emirates 6.901
21 United Kingdom 6.867
22 Oman 6.853
23 Venezuela 6.810
24 Singapore 6.798
25 Panama 6.786
26 Germany 6.750

Source: World Happiness Report 2015

Click to download a free copy: World Happiness Report 2015. For more information, please email happiness@unsdsn.org.

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