Happiness isn’t just about money, although it’s part of it. Real gross domestic product per capita is one of the key measurements, said the report. Others include generosity, a healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices and freedom from corruption, the report’s authors argued. They said it’s a better measure of human welfare than analyzing education, good government, health, income, and poverty separately.
“The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention to the need to create a sound policy for what matters most to people — their well-being,” said Jeffrey Sachs, the report’s co-editor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, in a statement.
“As demonstrated by many countries, this report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations. It’s time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls. Let’s hold our leaders to this fact.”
The World Happiness Report for 2017 ranked countries on seven main factors that support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, good governance, honesty, health and income. Sweden came in ninth place, tying with another country on the list.
8. New Zealand
Despite its remote location, this island nation has become a popular destination. Sailing and water sports are popular with the locals, who retained their eighth place title for another year, and visitors.
popular with the locals, who retained their eighth place title for another year, and visitors.
While Canada dropped one spot to seventh place this year, it still has much to celebrate on its 150th year as a nation. And much credit goes to Prince Edward Island, where a small group of elected officials gathered in 1864 to discuss joining the region’s independent provinces to create one nation.
The Dutch country famous for Van Gogh, tulips and canals — marked by these illuminated bridges at Kaisersgracht and Leidsegracht in Amsterdam — moved up one spot to sixth place.
Famous for its winter sports, Finland is also breathtakingly beautiful in summer, as seen here in Lakeland. The country retained its fifth place spot on this year’s World Happiness Report list.
While Switzerland dropped from second to fourth place this year, the competition between the top four countries was very close.
There is an adventure to be had outside of the capital city of Reykjavik, whether it’s trying to spot the Northern Lights or visit any of the smaller towns around this tiny country. No matter how cold one gets outside, most towns have a hot, steaming tub or pool from which soakers can watch the snow fall.
This country of very happy people has won the title of world’s happiest country three of the five times the report has been issued. These sailing boats at Nyhavn, a 17th Century waterfront canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, are enough to make any visitor happy.
This Scandinavian country filled with hikers, fjord-explorers and coffee drinkers vaulted from fourth place to first place to become the world’s happiest country. The Lofoten Islands, shown here, are well known for their jagged mountains and red cabins.