Tags: worlds | happiest | countries | switzerland

World's Happiest Countries Topped by Switzerland; US Is No. 15

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 05:44 PM

Switzerland topped the 2015 list of the World’s Happiest Countries, followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, and Norway; United States citizens got a little happier, moving up the list from 17th to take the 15th spot.

The Sustainable Solutions Network released its third report for the United Nations, focusing on identifying the factors that go into creating a happy country.

“Increasingly happiness is considered a proper measure of social progress and goal of public policy,” the report summary said. “A rapidly increasing number of national and local governments are using happiness data and research in their search for policies that could enable people to live better lives. Governments are measuring subjective well-being, and using well-being research as a guide to the design of public spaces and the delivery of public services.”

The top 10 list of happiest countries didn’t change much from 2013, with nine of the same countries on the list, although in a different order. The international economic crisis affected national happiness rankings, and the SSN said the top three countries that gained on the list were Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, and Ecuador.

“Three-quarters of the differences among countries, and also among regions, is accounted for by differences in six key variables: GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, trust, perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity,” the summary said. “Differences in social support, incomes, and healthy life expectancy are the three most important factors.”

Business Insider pointed out that the World Happiness Report is based in scientific findings, and is put together by an international group of neuroscientists, economists, and statisticians.

“One of its key findings, based on decades of neuroscientific and psychological research, suggests that keeping the brain happy relies on four main factors: 1) staying positive, 2) recovering from negative feelings, like a bout of sadness or anger, 3) caring about and spending time with family and friends, and 4) being mindful and allowing ourselves to feel ‘captured’ by emotions like awe or joy,” Business Insider said.

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Switzerland topped the 2015 list of the World's Happiest Countries, followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, and Norway; United States citizens got a little happier, moving up the list from 17th to take the 15th spot.
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Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 05:44 PM
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