Happiest Country In The World: Norway Takes First Place In The 2017 Rankings

Date December 15, 2017

The World Happiness Report is an annual ranking that lists the happiest countries in the world. The index of happiness presented in this report reflects the country's development, their economic situation, and their social progress.

This ranking assumes that measuring the happiness of these different countries helps to build more prosperous and healthier societies. To define a population's happiness index, the following factors are measured: freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and in particular, good governance.

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This ranking is established annually and is organized by the UN. It evaluates 155 countries. Quite often, the measurements taken on these main factors are quite similar in the top countries. This is why the estimation of the level of happiness in the countries at the top of the list is not very different.

Still, in 2017, Norway was singled out as the happiest country in the world. It climbed the top of the list despite its drop in oil prices. It is sometimes said that Norway has reached and maintains its impressive happiness levels, not thanks to its oil wealth, but despite it. By choosing to keep oil production low, and investing in the future instead of spending its wealth, Norway has distinguished itself from many other resource-rich economies.

To reach such an important achievement, mutual trust, a common sense of purpose, generosity and good governance have played a big role. And these are all factors that help keep Norway and a few other countries at the top of the rankings.

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Norway is followed by a three-way tie between Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland. Then come Finland and the Netherlands; Canada drops one place to 7th place, followed by New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.

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Variations among countries also depend on social support, freedom, life expectancy and the absence of corruption. Every year there are some variations in the rankings and different countries can take first place. However, the top of the list rarely experiences major changes.

If a country has recently been in first place and is no longer there, it is normally still found in the other top rankings. In most cases, the differences are not directly due to financial considerations but rather to factors such as health and personal relationships. That said, income differences matter more in poor countries.

As for France, it earned a place in the 2017 report and now ranks 31st. It is preceded by Panama and followed by Thailand. Do you think this report reflects the reality of life in the countries you know?

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