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Source: Shanghai Daily|
SWITZERLAND is the happiest country in the world, closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada, according to an annual study.
The World Happiness Report, launched by the United Nations in 2012, seeks to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy.
Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia round out the top 10, making small- or medium-sized countries in Western Europe seven of the top 10 happiest countries.
Academics identified the variables as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and one of the editors, said the top 13 countries were the same for a second year running, though their order had shifted.
They combined affluence with strong social support, and relatively honest and accountable governments, he told a news conference.
“Countries below that top group fall short, either in income or in social support or in both,” Sachs said.
The United States trails in 15th place, behind Israel and Mexico, with Britain in 21st, pipped by Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. France ranks 29th, behind Germany in 26th