There must be a lot of clapping along goin’ on in Denmark because that’s where happiness is the truth.
The nation has just topped a new list of the happiest countries in the world, bumping Switzerland from the top spot.
A report prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University lists the remaining top 10 most cheerful nations as Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden.
However, not everyone on the planet is ready to toss out their Cymbalta just yet. The same study revealed that the least happiest places were Madagascar, Tanzania, Liberia, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi.
I guess those spider holes aren’t the most uplifting.
The report ranked 157 countries by studying such factors as healthy years of life expectancy and gross domestic product per capita. Other considerations included the degree of government corruption and “having someone to count on in times of trouble.”
So where did the good ol’ USA rank? We came in at a respectable #13. The United Kingdom took the #23 slot, while Italy laid claim to #50.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who is head of the SDSN, explains:
“There is a very strong message for my country, the United States, which is very rich, has gotten a lot richer over the last 50 years, but has gotten no happier. The message for the United States is clear. For a society that just chases money, we are chasing the wrong things. Our social fabric is deteriorating, social trust is deteriorating, faith in government is deteriorating.”
Wow, this dude would give an amazing Oscars acceptance speech.
The study’s formal research report declared:
“When countries single-mindedly pursue individual objectives, such as economic development to the neglect of social and environmental objectives, the results can be highly adverse for human well-being, even dangerous for survival. Many countries in recent years have achieved economic growth at the cost of sharply rising inequality, entrenched social exclusion, and grave damage to the natural environment.”
Faking the illusion of joy is serious business in some areas. In fact, since the ranking began in 2012, five nations — Bhutan, Ecuador, Scotland, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela — now have official Ministers of Happiness to help them move up the ranks.
Also of note… The people in the photo above do not actually live in Denmark — they’re just dorks.