Well it’s not the United States which didn’t rank in the top ten. If you’re looking for the ideal place where people have the most positive outlook on life then take a look at Europe. According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), people are the most happiest in European countries. Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands have the happiest people in the world followed by Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway and Belgium.
The report looked at subjective well-being, defined as life satisfaction. Did people feel like their lives were dominated by positive experiences and feelings, or negative ones?
To answer that question, the OECD used data from a Gallup World Poll conducted in 140 countries around the world last year. The poll asked respondents whether they had experienced six different forms of positive or negative feelings within the last day.
Some sample questions: Did you enjoy something you did yesterday? Were you proud of something you did yesterday? Did you learn something yesterday? Were you treated with respect yesterday? In each country, a representative sample of no more than 1,000 people, age 15 or older, were surveyed. The poll was scored numerically on a scale of 1-100. The average score was 62.4.
Even though the current economic crisis is worldwide, the top scoring countries still boast some of the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the world.
Another factor in the study was work life balance. While countries such as Denmark with a high score of 90.1 boast a high GDP per capita of $68,000, the average workweek in that part of the world is no more than 37 hours. But in countries such as China which received a low score of just 14.8, the workweek is 47 hours and the GDP per capita is just $3,600.