Happiest Country Index: Norway Overtakes Denmark, Emerges World Happiest Country
Norway has displaced Denmark to emerge the world’s happiest country for the year 2017.
This is according to recent rankings as published by Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
The World Happiness Reports for 2017 ranked Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finlad as the top 5 happiest countries.
Despite a halving of crude prices since mid-2014, Norway has carefully managed its oil wealth, pooling its revenues into a sovereign wealth fund that is the world’s largest.
The Norwegian government takes a small percentage of the fund’s value for its state budget every year.
This strategy has helped shelter the 5.2 million strong nation from the deep budget cuts other countries have had to make.
Norway largely avoided the 2008 financial crisis that hit the rest of the world thanks to high oil prices that boosted its leading industry, oil production.
The world happiest country report recommends that countries should build social trust and equality to improve the well being of their citizens.
Last year, Norway placed fourth on the World Happiest country list.
According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, released on Monday, the Central African Republic was the least happiest country our of 155 countries.
Norway, World Happiest Country 2017
Authors of the report found that about six socioeconomic factors explain much of the difference in happiness among countries.
They opined that social factors play an underappreciated role.
As evidence, they cite periods of substantial economic growth that were nonetheless matched by declining happiness in China and the United States, which ranked 14th.
The ranking is based on answers to a simple life evaluation question developed decades ago by a social scientist.
The question was posed to people around the world between 2014 and 2016 by Gallup, the polling organization
“Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top.
“The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you.
“On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”