Who’s happiest and why?

May 18, 2017

Who’s happiest and why?

New Zealand is among the world’s 10 happiest countries, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.

New Zealand came in at 8th place, ahead of Australia (9th) and Sweden at number 10.

The United Nations (UN) report ranks countries’ happiness based on six factors — per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and the absence of corruption.

Norwegians have more reason to smile than anyone else in world; after placing fourth in 2016, Norway is now officially the world's happiest country – largely due to social reasons.

“It is sometimes said that Norway achieves and maintains its high happiness not because of its oil wealth, but in spite of it,” the report says. “To do this successfully requires high levels of mutual trust, shared purpose, generosi­ty and good governance, all factors that help to keep Norway and other top countries where they are in the happiness rankings.”

All of the other countries in the top 10, including Australia and New Zealand, have high values in all six of the key variables.

The Central African Republic was the least happy of 155 countries.


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


147. South Sudan
148. Liberia
149. Guinea
150. Togo
151. Rwanda
152. Syria
153. Tanzania
154. Burundi
155. Central African Republic

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