In Summary

  • Other top world's happiest countries on the list included Nordic neighbours Denmark and Iceland, as well as nearby Switzerland.
  • Rounding out the top 10 were Finland, in fifth place, the Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (8), and Australia and Sweden tied for 9th.
  • The United States slipped to the number 14 spot due to less social support and greater corruption — the very factors explaining why Nordic countries fare better on the happiness scale.

NEW YORK

A chilly climate isn’t keeping Norway from basking in the glow of being named the world’s happiest country on Monday.

It surged from fourth place in last year’s UN assessment all the way to the top spot, according to the World Happiness Report 2017.

Other top countries on the list included Nordic neighbours Denmark and Iceland, as well as nearby Switzerland.

“All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance,” the summary explained.

Rounding out the top 10 were Finland, in fifth place, the Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (8), and Australia and Sweden tied for 9th.

The entire top 10 were affluent, developed nations, although money is not the only ingredient for happiness, the report said.

MENTAL HEALTH

In fact, among the wealthier countries the differences in happiness levels had a lot to do with “differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships: the biggest single source of misery is mental illness,” said the report.

“Income differences matter more in poorer countries, but even their mental illness is a major source of misery,” it added.

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