Norway displaced Denmark as the world's happiest country in a new report released on Monday that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.
Countries in 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.
“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 is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing of the society and citizens.
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 a spot to 14.
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,” said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.
Sachs would like nations to follow United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.
“I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyze it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction,” he said.