Sadder than the Swiss?

Switzerland tops the third annual World Happiness Index as second-place Iceland beats the other Nordics comrades

Sarah Bostock
The Foreigner

The report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) also shows that Denmark and Norway occupy the third and fourth places, respectively. Finland is ranked the sixth happiest, with Sweden coming eighth out of the 158 countries in the survey.

This third-annual study bases its rankings on data from Gallup World Poll and takes into account several factors: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, life expectancy, social support, corruption, and freedom to make life choices.

The annual reports are aimed at influencing government policies, reviewing the state of happiness in the world, and showing the need for more attention to happiness.

“2015 is a watershed for humanity, with the pending adoption by UN member states of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September to help guide the world community towards a more inclusive and sustainable pattern of global development,” editors John Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs state.

“The concepts of happiness and well-being are very likely to help guide progress towards sustainable development.”

According to the report, the 10 happiest countries in the world are Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia.

The 10 least happy countries (in descending order) were Chad (149th), Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Benin, Syria, Burundi, and Togo.

SDSN is an initiative under the United Nations, publishing the first study in 2012.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit

It also appeared in the May 1, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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