Countries in Scandinavia have topped the list of the 2013 World Happiness Report. Holidaymakers looking to cheer themselves up as the winter approaches should think about booking a trip to Denmark and Norway, after the two countries came first and second respectively in the report.
Sweden ranked fifth and Finland seventh out of the 156 countries ranked. Britain however has dropped to 22nd place, below countries such as Costa Rica (12th), Panama (15th), Mexico (16th), the US (17th) and Venezuela (20th).
The second World Happiness Report is compiled between 2010 and 2012 by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It said the findings showed that the world had become a “slightly happier and more generous place over the past five years”. It said the biggest increase in happiness had been in Angola, Zimbabwe, Albania, Ecuador and Moldova.
The research examines factors such as GDP, life expectancy, social support, perceptions of corruption, and the “freedom to make life choices” in order to assign countries a score.
In its introduction, the report states: “The world is now in the midst of a major policy debate about the objectives of public policy. What should be the world’s Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015-2030? The World Happiness Report 2013 is offered as a contribution to that crucial debate.”
The bottom ten countries largely comprises African countries, although Syria 148th. Last was Togo, followed by Benin, Central African Republic, Burundi and Rwanda.
Egypt also ranked poorly, at 130th, while Sri Lanka was 137th. Bulgaria was the lowest European country, at 114 in the list.
The three happiest countries in the world you find in Scandinavia.