Canadians are the second happiest group in the world, after Australia, according to the results of a new study in which citizens of 34 countries were able to rate their own country on the things that made them feel they were experiencing a happy life. Where do the United Kingdom and the United States rank themselves? Read on! Words: 517
So says Lorimer Wilson editor of www.munKNEE.com. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article reposting with a link* to the article source to avoid copyright infringement. Wilson goes on to say:
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) “Better Life Initiative” used an interactive tool to generate what they referred to as a “Your Better Life Index” in which the volunteer participants measured their feelings of well-being and progress in 11 areas: housing, incomes, employment, social relationships, education, the environment, the administration of institutions, health, general satisfaction, security and the balance between work and family. (For detailed results area by area for all 34 countries go here.)
In the overall happiness scale which weighed all 11 topics mentioned above, the top 13 rankings were as follows:
- Unites States
- United Kingdom (Britain)
The list of all 34 is as graphed below:
Regarding the participants views as to their quality of life the Scandinavian countries top the list:
- Netherlands: 91%
- Denmark: 90%
- Finland: 86%
- Norway: 84%
- Sweden: 83%
followed by these 5 countries to complete the top 10:
- Canada: 78%
- Switzerland and New Zealand: 77%
- Belgium: 76%
- Australia: 75%
The United States came 14th at 70% and the United Kingdom was 15th at 68%.
15 countries ranked below the overall average of 59% including these major countries of note:
- Germany: 56% (tied for 20th)
- Italy: 54% (22nd)
- France: 51% (23rd)
- Spain: 49% (24th)
Those citizens the most unhappy with their quality of life were:
- Hungary: 23%
- Estonia: 24%
- Slovakia: 27%
- Turkey: 28%
As to the participants’ perceptions as to their countries’ quality of education the top 10 rankings were as follows:
- New Zealand
And where did the U.S and the U.K. rank?
The U.S. ranked 12th tied with Poland and Iceland. The U.K. ranked 20th.
The study begs the following questions:
- Can happiness really be measured?
- If so, why would we want to measure it?
- What are the benefits of having happy citizens?
In a presentation to the OECD, in 2010, Ruut Veenhoven of the University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands wrote that the data showed that happiness is a realistic goal for public policy in that greater happiness is possible through policy initiatives which can be evaluated as to their effectiveness accordingly. As such, Veenhoven noted that promoting happiness and well-being is a legitimate and important goal of government.