Philippines ranks 72nd in world happiness index

CC BY 2.0 camdiluv

CC BY 2.0 camdiluv

"All of these are found in Norway, as well as in the other top countries".

In Southeast Asia, Malaysians rank just behind southern neighbour Singapore and Thailand to the north; the latter two scored 26th spot and 32nd place respectively in the global report.

While Australia stayed relatively stable, the United States slipped from 13to 14 place. "They also include countries afflicted by internal and external conflicts or still trying to recover from past economic, political and civil disruptions".

The Central African Republic fell to the last position on the list, and is joined at the bottom by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.

According to the World Happiness Report (WHR) which has been published every year since 2012, happiness is less evident in Africa than in other regions of the world.

You can check the full list along with a more thorough analysis here. "The material can stand in the way of the human", John Helliwell, the lead author of the report and an economist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, told the Associated Press (AP). Everything from poor life expectancy and job dissatisfaction to lack of social support and trust in government and business.

The research tries to account for this through studying six main variables: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity, and absence/perception of corruption.

To come up with the happiness rankings, analysts examined answers to a specific question from the 2014-16 Gallup World Poll, a popular, massive survey with respondents from 155 different countries.

Looking at the individual happiness criteria for the U.S., Sachs identified a decline in four areas: social support, personal freedom, generosity, and perceived corruption - areas in which Nordic countries are thriving.

Surprisingly, Somalia is the fifth happiest African country, despite the al Shabaab threat and insecurity.

"For many years, Norway has been behind Denmark in this ranking", she wrote on Facebook.

Study co-author, economist, and SDSN director Jeffrey Sachs writes (pdf) that the USA suffers not from an economic crisis but a "multi-faceted social crisis".

"They are all aimed at increasing inequality - tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls and cutting in order to raise military spending".

De Neve, who co-authored the report's chapter on happiness at work, added that people in well-paid roles are happier, but money is only one predictive measure of happiness. "But the data show conclusively that this is the wrong approach", said Sachs, in a section of the report entitled "Restoring American Happiness".

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