Netherlands ranks in top 10 of World Happiness Report 2015

Netherlands ranks in top 10 of World Happiness Report 2015

The Netherlands has again achieved a high standing on the World Happiness Report, a global index put out by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

The 2015 report is the third edition since the index was launched in 2012. Of the more than 150 countries surveyed, top performers are consistently Western and Northern European nations, as well as Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Though the Netherlands’ performance has declined slightly since the previous reports were issued - it placed fourth in both 2012 and 2013 - it remains in the top 10, coming in at a respectable number seven.

The goals of the Happiness Report

The authors of the World Happiness Report aim to promote happiness as a science, calling for quantifiable research on the subjective experience of populations to be given more weight by policy-makers.

In particular, they hope that the 2015 index will draw attention to the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), currently awaiting adoption by UN member states.

The SDGs promote a balanced approach to policy-making that is not informed by GDP considerations alone, but also by factors more representative of human well-being.

Measuring happiness

The World Happiness Report comprises survey data provided by the Gallup World Poll between 2012 and 2014. Respondents are simply asked to rate their quality of life between 0 and 10.

The amalgamated survey data is then averaged, weighted for population size and transferred directly into country rankings.

The researchers account for a country’s score by estimating the degree to which six factors - GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption - have influenced it.

The Netherlands’ standing

At seventh place, the Netherlands stands far ahead of neighbours Belgium and Germany, which came in at places 19 and 26, respectively.

Among top-performing countries, the Netherlands scored particularly highly for generosity. The Dutch also have a very low perception of corruption in their own country.

The World Happiness Report Top 10

Ranking Country Average score
1 Switzerland 7,59
2 Iceland 7,56
3 Denmark 7,53
4 Norway 7,52
5 Canada 7,43
6 Finland 7,41
7 The Netherlands 7,38
8 Sweden 7,36
9 New Zealand 7,29
10 Australia 7,28
Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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