Move over Disney, the happiest place on earth has a new home, and its … Norway? The Nordic country landed atop the World Happiness Report, which ranks 155 countries in terms of happiness. The U.S., on the other hand, didn’t fare so well, as it came in at 14th.
Scandinavia had a strong showing this year, with Norway usurping Denmark for the top spot. Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland helped finish off the top five. But what about the U.S.? The country is in the midst of being Made Great Again by President Donald Trump, so surely it’s a top 10 country right? Well, the U.S. fell to 14th place (from 13th place last year), and its overall happiness score has fallen 5% over the last decade. Study co-author Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University told the Associated Press the recent political turmoil may have been a factor: “We’re becoming more and more mean spirited. And our government is becoming more and more corrupt. And inequality is rising. It’s a long-term trend and conditions are getting worse.”
The AP explains how the rankings are based on different socioeconomic factors, such as health and income, and the surveys allow people to rank their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. Countries with high poverty rates, such as the Central African Republic, rank towards the bottom. It may be odd to quantify how someone can truly judge happiness, as you would think people have different interpretations. But alas, people take these rankings seriously enough to continue participating every year. Better luck next time, U.S.?
(Via The Associated Press)