Where is the happiest place on earth?
In an effort to answer this question, Adrian G. White, University of Leicester developed the first published map of world happiness. He used responses from over 80,000 people about their subjective well-being as well as other sources to put together this map.
The happiest country in the world turns out to be Denmark. See the end of this article for a link to a tongue-in-cheek paper in the British Medical Journal looking at factors that make the Danes the happiest people on earth.
The top 15 happiest countries
The top 15 countries are
9. Brunei Darussalam
13. Costa Rica
Other notable countries and their happiness
and the country with the lowest ranking
Global factors that affect happiness
What is quickly apparent from this global map of subjective well-being (SWB) is that poverty is closely associated with a low score on the SWB scale. SWB correlated most strongly with health (.7) closely followed by wealth (.6) and access to basic education (.6). This adds to the evidence that from a global perspective the biggest causes of low SWB are poverty and associated variables.
What is also interesting is that major Asian countries do poorly such as Japan, China and India. The reasons behind this remain to be understood. Mr White says that this is surprising because these are countries that are thought as having a strong sense of collective identity which other researchers have associated with well-being.