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Happiest and saddest countries in the world revealed

March 23, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

So your clients want a happy time on their travels? Perhaps they should visit countries where citizens tend to be happier and give off a happy, positive vibe.

To help, a comprehensive list of those countries has been drawn up and published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a UN body that aims to fight poverty by advocating sustainable development. The World Happiness Report 2017 ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels.

Happiness is hard to define, and very much an individual thing, but the World Happiness Report attempts to give an idea.

Norway’s fabulous scenery imparts a happy vibe

Here’s a sneak preview: Australia comes 9th – one place behind New Zealand.

The analysis was released by the United Nations on Monday 20 March, the International Day of Happiness. If you missed the Day of Happiness, don’t be sad, there will be another one next year.

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 score out of 10 is given after each country.


  1. Norway 7.54
  1. Denmark 7.42
  1. Iceland 7.5
  1. Switzerland 7.49
  1. Finland 7.47

One two three four – be happy in 2017

  1. Netherlands 7.38
  1. Canada 7.32
  1. New Zealand 7.32
  1. Australia 7.28
  1. Sweden 7.28


  1. Yemen 3.59
  1. South Sudan 3.59
  1. Liberia 3.53
  1. Guinea 3.51
  1. Togo 3.49
  1. Rwanda 3.47
  1. Syria 3.46
  1. Tanzania 3.35
  1. Burundi 2.91
  1. Central African Republic 2.69

Americans are getting sadder. The US came 14th. Britain came 19th.

Sing a happy song in Norway

The report, the fifth published since 2012, continues to gain global recognition as governments, organisations and civil society increasingly use happiness indicators to inform their policy-making decisions.

So don’t just sit there – be happy!

In addition to the rankings, this year’s report includes an analysis of happiness in the workplace and a deeper look at China and Africa.

You can peruse and download the report here:

Written by Peter Needham

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