A while back Guy Kawasaki published a post about the 20 happiest countries in the world. The list was based on a study by Adrian G. White, a psychologist at the University of Leicester.
The meta-analysis is based on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which questioned 80,000 people worldwide. For this study data has also been analysed in relation to health, wealth and access to education.
The research found that capitalism is not necessarily “making” people unhappy, a belief that is often stated. In fact what the study confirmed that in countries where the basic needs as defined by Maslow were met people were happy.
people in countries with good healthcare, a higher GDP per captia, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy
So the twenty happiest countries are:
- The Bahamas
- Costa Rica
- The Netherlands
- Antigua and Barbuda
- New Zealand
- The Seychelles
Other interesting results USA (23), Germany (35), UK (41), France (62), China (82), Japan (90), India (125) and Russia (167). The three least happy countries were Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Burundi. I don’t see Australia listed but we can’t be too far below New Zealand!
There is a nice map of happiness for the visual learners, like me.
UPDATE: As an interesting side note the top Twitter users don’t seem to be in the top 20 happiest countries