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Image / Editorial

The World’s Happiest Place?


by IMAGE
27th Apr 2015
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men and women smiling and laughing

Ever dreamt of moving to the happiest place in the world? When asked, most of us imagine it to be somewhere exotic, somewhere with white sand and turquoise waters and friendly monkeys who’ve evolved enough to be able to top up your Pina Coladas on request. In reality, however, the world’s happiest place is actually Switzerland.

According to a new study, the Danes no longer reign supreme as the nation of perpetually grinning Cheshire cats, having been usurped by the Swiss, who are followed closely by Iceland (we bet those hot springs have a lot to do with it, but you’d think the idea of a maximum of 3-4 hours of daylight in winter would bump them down the list). The study consists of 158 nations and assesses national wellbeing across several categories, among which life expectancy, freedom to make life choices and GDP per capita are included. These findings, compiled by a group of international academics, aims to focus less os on wealth and more so on contentment, which has never been an easy thing to measure.

As for Ireland? Well, erm, we don’t even register on the top ten. But the good news is that we also don’t rank on the bottom ten so, y’know, silver linings. We sit, pretty comfortably, at number 18.

Nevertheless, it’s time we Irish make a concerted effort to improve our national sense of wellbeing, and work our way up that list; we’ve got SO much going for us, right?

Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada make up the top 5 while Togo, Burundi, Syria, Benin and Rwanda are among the places you ought not to set up camp.

The third World Happiness Report is a whopping 172-page study, so if you’re feeling particularly fed up at work today, it’s here for your perusal.

@CarolineForan