What Country is Happiest?

*Shared Story

It’s not America………

Norway tops list, USA falls

Not happy here in the USA anymore? I can relate! But if you’re not happy, where can you go to join the happiest people on the earth? Well, to visit this place, a nice winter coat is essential.

A new report released says that Norway is the happiest country on Earth, people in the USA are getting sadder, and having more money does not make anything better.

Norway takes top notch in the World Happiness Report. In spite of the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy.

Wages in the United States have gone up over the past decade albeit not for everyone, but people’s happiness is in decline

The United States ranked 14th in the latest ranking, down from No. 13 last year, and over the years American people have been steadily rating themselves less happy.

Studying happiness may seem to be not very serious research, but serious investigators have long been calling for more testing on people’s emotional well-being, especially in the USA.

In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences delivered a report recommending that federal statistics and surveys, which normally deal with income, spending, health and housing, include a few extra questions on happiness because it would lead to better policy that affects people’s lives; not that the feds really care whether or not you’re happy, but the request was made.

Norway!

Norway moved from No. 4 to the top in the report’s rankings, which combine economic, health and polling data compiled by economists that are analyzed over three years from 2014 to 2016. Norway edged past previous champ Denmark, which fell to second. Iceland, Switzerland and Finland round out the top 5.

“Good for them. I don’t think Denmark has a monopoly on happiness,” said Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, who wasn’t part of the global scientific study that came out with the rankings.

“What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good,” Wiking said. Something lacking in other countries (i.e. USA)

Still, you have to have some money to be happy, which is why most of the bottom countries are in desperate poverty. But at a certain point extra money doesn’t buy extra happiness, Helliwell and others said. The USA edges more and more in line with that of third world countries on many levels.

Central African Republic fell to last on the happiness list, and is joined at the bottom by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.

The report ranks 155 countries. The economists have been ranking countries since 2012, but the data used, goes back farther so the economists can judge trends.

Rankings:

Rankings are based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. In those surveys, people give scores from 1 to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.

Most countries were either getting happier or at least treading water, The “United” States’ happiness score dropped 5 percent over the past decade (2007-2012 being the largest drop period). Venezuela and the Central African Republic slipped the most over the past decade. Nicaragua and Latvia increased the most.

Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University said in a phone interview from Oslo that the sense of community, so strong in Norway, is deteriorating in America.

“We’re becoming more and more mean spirited. And the government is becoming more and more corrupt. And inequality is rising,” Sachs said, citing research and analysis he conducted on America’s declining happiness for the report. “It’s a long-term trend and conditions are getting worse.”

“There is deep misery in the heartland,” Graham, author of the book “The Pursuit of Happiness,”

Happiness — and doing what you love — is more important, said study author Helliwell. He rated his personal happiness a 9 on a 1-to- 10 scale.

How does your own personal happiness score? What would you, on a scale of 1 to 10 be?

*Thanks to anonymous

Psalms 146:5Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: …”

Proverbs 3:13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”

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