World Happiness Report 2013

By
on November 10, 2014

World Happiness Report 2013

By on November 10, 2014

Dialogue International was curious to find out how people experience and evaluate their life as a whole with the help of the World Happiness Report, conducted by the United Nations.

world study bonheur

Happiness is an aspiration of all human beings and may also be a measure of social progress: this report shows that happiness, in addition to being beneficial for individuals, is directly related to physical health and longevity on one hand, to the creation of wealth and a countries’ productivity, and finally individuals behaviours and social skills. Happiness therefore influences in a direct manner the health, economy and the social balance of a country. Thus, it contributes to a better cooperation, greater motivations and creativities which in turn contribute to job success and life satisfaction. The more happy an individual is, the more productive, more wealthier and better behaved he will be.

Measuring happiness rather than GDP? This report aims primarily to push States to take into account this data to carry out national policies with a more sustainable development. The Organization acknowledged that happiness and well-being are not only universal aspirations but that it should be taken into account in the positive political goals as well as for its other positive outcomes.This report offers evidence that analysizing happiness can guide us towards the improvement of the world’s wellbeing. Politicians such as german Chancellor Angela Merkel, emphasize upon the importance of well-being as a guide for their nation and the world.

The international happiness data that is available takes into account how people rate both their emotions and their lives as a whole. The report is based on six principal criteria in order to establish its ranking and to explain the international differences in average life evaluations, which are the following: income per person, life expectancy, absence of corruption, ability to count on someone,freedom to make life choices and generosity. The respondents were asked to evaluate their current lives from 0 to 10. The distribution of the responses were recorded and analyzed . Figure 2.3 shows the results obtained.

ranking happiness

We often say money does not buy happiness, this report proves it once more. We were surprised to find out that Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela are ranked higher than France, Germany and even the United States in the international happiness report 2013. Concerning Figure 2.3, Europe and more precisely, Northern Europe, resulted as the big winner. Denmark, Norway and Switzerland stand out at the top of the list. Followed closely by  the Netherlands and Sweden. With a score of 6.76 on 10 (against a world average 5.10), France ranks 25th, after the United States, 17th but just before Germany, 26th.

Funny anecdote:
People often think a warm environement affects an individual’s well being. However, the data shows that the top ten countries (except the Australia in 10th position),  have long, cold winters. For instance Iceland, in 9th position, barely sees the Sun.
Another funny fact is that both Denmark and the Netherlands (respectively 1st and 4th ranking) are known as the largest bikers. Maybe the key to happiness has two wheels

To read the complete Happiness Report click here:
http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WorldHappinessReport2013_online.pdf

 

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