NEW YORK, United States — A cold local weather isn’t preserving Norway from basking in the glow of being named the world’s happiest country on Monday.
The Scandinavian country surged from fourth place in final yr’s UN evaluation all the option to the prime spot, in accordance with the World Happiness Report 2017.
Other prime international locations on the checklist included Nordic neighbors Denmark and Iceland, in addition to Switzerland.
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Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who’s going through a tricky re-election battle in September, welcomed the report as “a pleasant validation on a Monday morning.
“For a few years, Norway has been behind Denmark on this rating.
“I’ve made a degree of it in lots of dinner speeches in the Nordics. Now I have to discover one thing new!” she mentioned in a message on Facebook in Norwegian.
“But even if we top this statistic now we (must) continue to prioritize mental health care, to improve follow-up of children and young people because many are still struggling.”
The report discovered that “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.”
Rounding out the prime 10 have been Finland, in fifth place, The Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (eight) and Australia and Sweden tied for ninth.
All in the prime 10 have been prosperous, developed nations, although the report mentioned that cash was not the solely ingredient for happiness.
In truth, amongst the wealthier international locations the variations in happiness ranges had loads to do with “differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships: the biggest single source of misery is mental illness,” the report mentioned.
“Income differences matter more in poorer countries, but even their mental illness is a major source of misery,” it added.
Another main country, China, has made main financial strides lately. But its individuals are not happier than 25 years in the past, the report discovered. China ranked 79th in the research of 155 international locations.
The United States slipped to quantity 14 due to much less social assist and higher corruption — the very elements explaining why Nordic international locations fare higher on the happiness scale.
‘Won the lottery’
Norway, the largest oil producer in western Europe, is a affluent country — regardless of a current drop in oil costs — with a really beneficiant welfare state.
“We won the lottery,” Arne Larsen, a retired civil servant, informed AFP in central Oslo.
“Oil is a part of it, however you shouldn’t exaggerate its significance as a result of life was good in Norway earlier than too.
“I feel it has extra to do with elementary societal elements: Norway is kind of homogenous, it’s a country the place the hole between the state and the folks is just not very huge, and the place there’s a whole lot of belief,” he mentioned.
Thea Sofie Rusten Grastveit, who works as an advisor for a humanitarian company, echoed these ideas.
Thirty years outdated and pregnant along with her first baby, she is on the point of take a 16-month parental depart, which she is going to share 50-50 along with her husband.
“One of the main reasons we can do all this is the oil money,” she acknowledged.
“We of course managed our resources well for the good of society, but we were also really lucky to have these resources,” she mentioned.
The World Happiness Report was launched by the United Nations on the International Day of Happiness. It is the fifth such report since the first was revealed in 2012.
“Since then we have come a long way. Happiness is increasingly considered the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy,” the report mentioned.
While the 10 international locations at the prime remained the similar as in a 2016 replace, these in the backside 10, which had the lowest life evaluations, confirmed higher variation.
The Central African Republic, which returned to the surveyed group, got here in lifeless final at 155, with Burundi and Tanzania doing solely barely higher.
Among the 20 largest losers, 5 have been in the Middle East and North Africa and 5 have been in sub-Saharan Africa. CBB