The Netherlands rises in top 10 of World Happiness Report
The Netherlands has moved up in the ranks of the World Happiness Report, rising from a respectable seventh, to sixth place. Steadily enjoying a spot in the top 10, the Netherlands has ranked higher in earlier years. In both 2012 and 2013, the country bagged a fourth place.
In obtaining its new ranking, the Netherlands has overtaken Canada as the sixth happiest country in the world.
Norway is the new number one
The same countries as last year are in the top four of the Report, but not in the exact same order. Norway has risen from fourth to first place, overtaking Switzerland, Iceland and Denmark, last year’s number one.
Finland remains in the fifth position, and the last three countries in the top 10, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden, remain in same position as well.
Social foundations of happiness
In order to scientifically determine a country’s happiness, several factors are taken into account.
The main analysis is based on individual life evaluations, where people are asked to put a value on their level of general happiness, from 0 to 10. Subjects were asked about their sense of freedom, trust in their governance and acts of generosity towards others.
In addition, researchers have looked at the countries’ social foundations, such as:
› Social support
› Resilience (strength of underlying social fabric)
› Life course
The report notes that: "the 10 top countries are once again all small or medium-sized western industrial countries, of which seven are in Western Europe."
The World Happines Report top 10
6) The Netherlands
8) New Zealand
The top 10 least happy countries
147) South Sudan
155) Central African Republic