Norway is the happiest place on Earth, according to a United Nations agency report – toppling neighbour Denmark from the number one position.
The World Happiness Report measures “subjective well-being” – how happy the people are, and why.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and and Finland round out the top five, while the Central African Republic came last.
Western Europe and North America dominated the top of table, with the US and UK at 14th and 19th, respectively.
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and those hit by conflict have predictably low scores. Syria placed 152 of 155 countries – Yemen and South Sudan, which are facing impending famine, came in at 146 and 147.
The World Happiness Report was released to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness on 20 March.
|The world’s happiest – and saddest – countries|
|1. Norway||146. Yemen|
|2. Denmark||147. South Sudan|
|3. Iceland||148. Liberia|
|4. Switzerland||149. Guinea|
|5. Finland||150. Togo|
|6. Netherlands||151. Rwanda|
|7. Canada||152. Syria|
|8. New Zealand||153. Tanzania|
|9. Australia||154. Burundi|
|10. Sweden||155. Central African Republic|
It mainly relies on asking a simple, subjective question of more than 1,000 people every year in more than 150 countries.
“Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top,” the question asks.
“The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”
The average result is the country’s score – ranging from Norway’s 7.54 to the Central African Republic’s 2.69. But the report also tries to analyse statistics to explain why one country is happier than another.