Happiness and Peace

The 2013 World Happiness Report has called on policy makers around the world to make happiness a key measure and target of development. The report ranks the countries of the world according to their happiness, and identifies Northern Europe as the happiest region.

While the notion of happiness is highlight subjective, much like peace, it can be quantified. The researchers have measured happiness according to six key factors: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, generosity, perceived absence of corruption, and perceived freedom to make life choices.

So where can you find the biggest smiles in the world?

1. Denmark 

2. Norway

3. Switzerland

4. The Netherlands

5. Sweden

The report analyses trends om happiness data, which revealed significant changes at the country level over time. According to each region, happiness gains were made in Sub-Saharan African and Latin America, while losses were common among mainly industrialized countries.

Of the 130 countries covered in the World Happiness Report, 60 countries have significantly improved, or become happier, while 41 have worsened. 

For governments, the report identifies what affects happiness. The report also highlights the spin-off effects of happiness- such as people living longer, being more productive, earning more and being better citizens. It argues that well-being should be developed for both its own sake and for its side-effects.

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