THE WORLD'S HAPPIEST COUNTRIES
By and large, rich countries are happier--and that's no coincidence.In the wake of their World Cup loss, residents of the Netherlands may be feeling depressed. But there's reason to believe they won't be done in by the agony of defeat: According to a recent poll, the country is one of the happiest in the world.Championship-winning Spain, on the other hand, was swept with euphoria and national pride, but that may have been an unfamiliar feeling. The country ranks No. 17 of 21 European countries in terms of happiness.
The fact is good times probably have more to do with the size of your wallet than the size of your trophy shelf. The five happiest countries in the world--Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands--are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of prosperity. "The Scandinavian countries do really well," says Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup, which developed the poll. "One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. When we look at all the data, those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being."Canada was high up on the list as well, tied for eighth overall (with three other countries). That handily beat the United States, which was tied with Austria for the No. 14 spot.
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July 15, 2010
Posted by BEYOND RISK at 7/16/2010