Happiest Country in the World:Denmark, Unhappiest: Burundi
Denmark residents are once again the happiest people in the world, according to a U.N. report.
If you have a “happy place,” maybe it should be in Denmark.
Once again, Denmark topped a United Nations list of the happiest countries in the world.
Released Wednesday in Rome, the U.N. list puts Switzerland and Iceland in second and third place — but the U.S. didn’t even make the top ten.
Instead, America came in 13th, two spots behind Israel and seven behind Canada.
This year’s top ten happiest countries are the same as last year’s, although some have swapped places.
Denmark, for instance, was also the happiest country in 2013 and 2015, but dipped down to third in 2014.
The U.S. position rose two spots from last year’s 15th place.
“The rankings show both consistency and change,” report editor Prof. John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia said in a press release.
“The consistency at the top reflects mainly that life evaluations are based on life circumstances that usually evolve slowly, and that are all at high levels in the top countries.”
Overall, the study found that people were happier living in countries with more equality in happiness, but nearly 75% of the variations from one country to the next can be explained by just six factors: GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom in life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.
The report rates countries’ happiness on a scale of zero to 10. The U.S. scored a 7.1, while Denmark scored more than 7.5 and Burundi came in with a paltry 2.9.
Conflict-plagued Syria came in second-to-last with a score of 3.1, and war-torn Afghanistan scored similarly low.
Other countries beset by violence — including Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt — scored in the bottom third.
As a whole, happiness inequality has increased significantly since 2005.
The report was produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and it looks at how people in 156 countries rated their happiness in surveys over a three-year period.