Subjective World Happiness

It started as a rainy day, but don’t worry, be happy!

A few years ago I read The Art of Happiness: Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler. At the time it was difficult for me to buy the premise that our natural state is to move towards happiness. Thank God that period of my live has passed. Over time, I’ve come to understand that moving towards happiness is preferable to the opposite trajectory.


Professor Adrian White of the University of Leicester has taken on the task of mapping the world’s supply of happiness. His paper, A Global Projection of Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge to Positive Psychology? describes his work surveying and calculating a Subjective Well Being (SWB) value for each country in the world. Perhaps someday, Gross National Happiness will eclipse the Gross National Product as a measure of a country’s greatness.

The 20 happiest nations in the World are:

1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Austria
4. Iceland
5. The Bahamas
6. Finland
7. Sweden
8. Bhutan
9. Brunei
10. Canada
11. Ireland
12. Luxembourg
13. Costa Rica
14. Malta
15. The Netherlands
16. Antigua and Barbuda
17. Malaysia
18. New Zealand
19. Norway
20. The Seychelles

Other notable results include:

23. USA
35. Germany
41. UK
62. France
82. China
90. Japan
125. India
167. Russia

The three least happy countries were:

176. Democratic Republic of the Congo
177. Zimbabwe
178. Burundi

Uh oh, my boss is from Zimbabwe…


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