It’s official! Norway is the happiest country on earth.
A UN agency says so in a new report in which fellow Nordic nations also shine.
Jumping from fourth place last year, Norway has knocked neighbour Denmark off the top spot.
It can’t be down to the climate so what does make Norway so special?
“Well, I have lived in different places in the world like South Africa and Mexico and…I can really see that in Norway, we are privileged in many ways,” said humanitarian worker Nina Tanggaard Lomeland, speaking in Oslo.
“I don’t know if we can say that we are the happiest people because you also have a lot of depressed people and lonely people but for me, I feel very privileged.”
The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the World Happiness Report 2017, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations.
The report looks at key factors found to support happiness like freedom, health, income and good governance.
“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.
The aim of the report, he added, is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.
After Norway in the list, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.
Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States dropped one spot to 14.
South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic were at the bottom.
In the last spot, the Central African Republic has seen years of conflict that have uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and left more than 2 million, that is around half the population, needing aid.
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