The following are the top 10 countries in terms of happiness and the 10 most unhappy as listed by the United Nations in the World Happiness Report 2017

The use of happiness has gained ground in the UN as it is viewed to be “the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.”

The report combines six factors for its rating: GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (having someone to rely on during hard times), absence of corruption in government and business), social freedom, and generosity (measured by recent donations). The top ten countries rank highly on all six of these factors.

According to the report , although the top ten countries remain the same as last year, there has been some shuffling of places. Most notably, Norway has jumped into first position, followed closely by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. These four countries are clustered so tightly that the differences among them are not statistically significant, even with samples averaging 3,000 underlying the averages.

South Africa is ranked 101 out of 155 countries. However, it is ranked at number 7 out of 44 with regards to Happiness in Africa. Algeria is first while the Central African Republic is last. According to the report, Ethiopian and South African children were most likely not to ‘feel safe at home’ and not to ‘have a quiet place to study at home’.

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Africa’s lower levels of happiness compared to other countries in the world, might be attributed to disappointment with different aspects of development under democracy. Although most citizens still believe that democracy is the best political system, they are critical of governance in their countries. Despite significant improvement in meeting basic needs according to the Afrobarometer index of ‘lived poverty’, population pressure may have stymied infrastructure and youth development.

Jobs are vital

The overwhelming importance of having a job for happiness is evident throughout the analysis, and holds across all of the world’s regions. When considering the world’s population as a whole, people with a job evaluate the quality of their lives much more favourably than those who are unemployed.

The clear importance of employment for happiness emphasises the damage caused by unemployment. The data also show that rising unemployment negatively affects everyone, even those still employed.

The 10 most happy countries:

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Switzerland
  5. Finland
  6. The Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Australia
  10. Sweden

The 10 most unhappy countries:

  1. Yemen
  2. South Sudan
  3. Liberia
  4. Guinea
  5. Togo
  6. Rwanda
  7. Syria
  8. Tanzania
  9. Burundi
  10. Central African Republic

Author: ANA Newswire and A4W Staff