October 31, 2006


Rating Countries for the Happiness Factor: A study pulled together from sources and surveys found that good health care and education are as important as wealth to modern happiness (Marina Kamenev, 10/11/06, Business Week)

According to Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at Leicester who developed the first "World Map of Happiness," Denmark is the happiest nation in the world.

White's research used a battery of statistical data, plus the subjective responses of 80,000 people worldwide, to map out well-being across 178 countries. Denmark and five other European countries, including Switzerland, Austria, and Iceland, came out in the top 10, while Zimbabwe and Burundi pulled up the bottom.

Not surprisingly, the countries that are happiest are those that are healthy, wealthy, and wise. "The most significant factors were health, the level of poverty, and access to basic education," White says. Population size also plays a role. Smaller countries with greater social cohesion and a stronger sense of national identity tended to score better, while those with the largest populations fared worse. China came in No. 82, India ranked 125, and Russia was 167. The U.S. came in at 23.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2006 9:15 PM

It's nice to see science is coming together and reaching a clear consensus on how to measure this kind of thing. No doubt we will soon know which countries lead the way in sense of humour and aesthetic appreciation.

Posted by: Peter B at November 1, 2006 6:34 AM