HAPPY: Copenhagen - in Denmark - is the capital of the world’s happiest country
HAPPY: Copenhagen – in Denmark – is the capital of the world’s happiest country

Denmark is world’s happiest country

According to a recent report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Denmark overtook Switzerland as the world’s happiest place.

Syria, Afghanistan and eight sub-Saharan countries rack up as the 10 least happy places on earth to live.

The top 10 this year are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.

Denmark was in third place last year, behind Switzerland and Iceland.

The bottom 10 were Madagascar, Tanzania, Liberia, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi.

Britain fell two places to 23rd in the report, placing it below the likes of Mexico and Singapore.

All countries in this year’s top 10 are located in Europe.

The report ranks 157 countries according to factors such as equality, GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, perceptions of corruption and freedom to make life choices.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, head of the SDSN and special advisor to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Reuters: “There is a very strong message for my country, the United States, which is very rich, has gotten a lot richer over the last 50 years, but has gotten no happier.”

“While the differences between countries where people are happy and those where they are not could be scientifically measured we can understand why and do something about it.

“The message for the United States is clear. For a society that just chases money, we are chasing the wrong things. Our social fabric is deteriorating, social trust is deteriorating, faith in government is deteriorating.”

The report said: “When countries single-mindedly pursue individual objectives, such as economic development to the neglect of social and environmental objectives, the results can be highly adverse for human wellbeing, even dangerous for survival.

“Many countries in recent years have achieved economic growth at the cost of sharply rising inequality, entrenched social exclusion, and grave damage to the natural environment.”