Happiest country in the world revealed

Published: 21 March 2017


They might have deemed Australia the “lucky country”, but if it’s happiness you’re after… you might want to pack your bag and head north.

And we’re not talking about Queensland.

Norway has toppled Denmark as the happiest place on earth, according to a United Nations agency report which measures each country’s “subjective wellbeing” on how happy the people are and why.

It found that Norwegians are the happiest country followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.

And for Australians, it could be worse. We came in ninth, behind the Netherlands, Canada and our neighbour New Zealand.

Not surprisingly, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries – with the Central African Republic finishing dead last.

The US fell to 14th spot, and the UK finished 19th.

"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.

He explained that the aim of the report is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.

The rankings are based on six factors: per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.

"The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables," the report read.

Mr Sachs added that he wants other nations to follow in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates and appoint a Minister of Happiness.