IF you want to be happy and satisfied with your life then move to Denmark, according to a 156-nation UN survey.
The top five happiest countries in the world were Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden, according to the report published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Denmark also took top spot last year.
Ireland is the 18th happiest country in the world ahead other nations including the UK (22), Germany (26), Japan (43), Russia (68) and China (93).
The US (17) ranks higher than Ireland but fell from 11th place, which the report attributes to an increase in poverty and unemployment. The US was behind its neighbour Canada which came 6th and Australia in 10th.
Egypt had the greatest fall in happiness level from 2012 after recent unrest and political upheaval whilst rankings for Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain fell dramatically because of the impact of the eurozone crisis. The report considered the rise of unemployment as a key factor for the fall in happiness for nations suffering in the EU.
A view of Koltur island from the port basin of Midvagur: Denmark also came out on top last year A view of Koltur island from the port basin of Midvagur: Denmark also came out on top last year Data for the new report, collected between 2010 and 2012, showed overall increases in happiness from the first survey. Happiness levels increased the most in Latin America.
The Report also shows the major beneficial side-effects of happiness. Happy people live longer, are more productive, earn more, and are also better citizens.
Wealth is not the only factor for the results. Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption in a nation makes people happy. On an individual level - good health, job security and stable families - are crucial.
The report also notes that mental illnesses are major contributors to unhappiness around the world.
The first World Happiness Report, released in 2012, drew international attention as a landmark first survey of the state of global happiness.
Vancouver, Canada: The North American country is the 10th happiest nation in the world Vancouver, Canada: The North American country is the 10th happiest nation in the world This year the 156-page report includes more detailed analysis so that citizens and politicians can understand their country’s ranking.
“There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being,” said Professor Jeffery Sachs. “More and more world leaders are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations and the world. The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a lot about ways to improve the world’s well-being and sustainable development.”
The report ranks the happiest countries around the globe using a range of factors to determine a population-weighted average score of 5.1 (out of 10). Six key variables explain three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries. These six factors include: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.
Ranking of happiness: Top 20
4. The Netherlands
12. Costa Rica
13. New Zealand
14. United Arab of Emirates
17. United States
18. Republic of Ireland
Ranking of happiness: Bottom 10
3. Central African Republic