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.
The Chicago Tribune has an interesting article about President Barack Obama’s great uncle Charles Payne. Eighty four year old Charles Payne was a private first class in the 89th Infantry Division during World War II. The 89th Infantry participated in the liberation of Ohrdruf, a forced-labor camp that was a satellite of the Buchenwald concentration camp. It’s been rumored that while visiting Europe this summer President Obama is considering a visit to the concentration camp that his great uncle helped liberate in April 1945 and he’s expected to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France on June 6. A White House spokesperson hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumored trip to the former concentration camp.
Obama relative recalls World War II horror
President may visit concentration camp great-uncle helped liberate
By John McCormick
May 8, 2009
For much of his 84 years, Charles Payne has lived in Chicago in relative obscurity and watched his sister’s grandson rise to the presidency.
But now it appears possible that a painful part of Payne’s own story will be brought to the forefront, based on German news reports that President Barack Obama is considering a visit to the concentration camp that his great uncle helped liberate in April 1945.
Payne, who spent much of his career working in library science at the University of Chicago, was a private first class in the 89th Infantry Division during World War II when he participated in the liberation of Ohrdruf, a forced-labor camp that was a satellite of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
“I remember seeing a lot of really emaciated people in rags at the point of starvation. People were clutching tin cups for food,” he said Thursday in a Tribune interview. “I saw sheds where dead bodies had been stacked up.”
But Payne said he had thought little in recent years about the horrors he saw, until German reporters started calling to ask about a possible presidential visit.
A German government spokesman told reporters in Berlin that Obama may visit Buchenwald while in Europe this summer. The president is expected to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France on June 6, and a Group of Eight summit will be held in Italy in July.
German spokesman Thomas Steg was quoted as saying Obama may plan to visit “historical places that in the widest sense are related to the different aspects of World War II — destruction and rebuilding, extermination and the breakdown of civilization.”
A White House spokesman declined to confirm or deny that Obama planned to follow Payne’s wartime tracks. More than 50,000 people were killed at Buchenwald.
After receiving a degree in engineering from Kansas State University, Charles Payne moved to Chicago in 1960 where he spent most of his career working in library science at the University of Chicago.