The Official Happy Map

July 31, 2006

Someone has finally done it- there is now an official ‘Happy Map,’ a demographic/ cartographic document that notes the happiest places on earth. The elusive search for happiness end of the rainbow is coming to an end.

The study was done by some brilliant minds at the University of Leicester.

Happiness is found to be most closely associated with health, followed by wealth and then education.

A University of Leicester psychologist has produced the first ever ‘world map of happiness.’

“The concept of happiness, or satisfaction with life, is currently a major area of research in economics and psychology, most closely associated with new developments in positive psychology. It has also become a feature in the current political discourse in the UK.

“There is increasing political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator in conjunction with measures of wealth. A recent BBC survey found that 81% of the population think the Government should focus on making us happier rather than wealthier [emp- SC&A]

“There is a belief that capitalism leads to unhappy people. However, when people are asked if they are happy with their lives, people in countries with good healthcare, a higher GDP per captia, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy.

Denmark ranks at the top of the list. Yup, the country where Theo van Gogh was shot to death and the cartoon riots began is the happiest place on earth.

In second place was Switzerland. Let’s hear it for chocolate and cuckoo clocks.

Third spit went to Austria- and why not? Leiderhosen, waltzing and alpenhorns- how can you top that for joy?

Here are some more results:

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. RussiaThe three least happy countries were:

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

Check out the differences between the Arab world and Israel.
See the interactive Happy Map and rejoice.

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7 Responses to “The Official Happy Map”

  1. Ken Says:

    Every time I hear of the “happy map”, I keep thinking of the Stimpy Happy Helmet.

    “Happy happy joy joy,
    Happy happy joy joy,
    Happy happy joy joy,
    Happy happy joy joy…”

  2. smmtheory Says:

    Maybe it is all based on how many happy pills are distributed and consumed.

  3. SC&A Says:

    Get me on that interstate.

  4. smmtheory Says:

    Sure thing Doc. Now where did I put that phone number…

  5. The Quibbler Says:

    One small Quibble: Theo was murdered in the Netherlands.

  6. Ben-David Says:

    Interesting… I thought the Scandinavian countries had high suicides rates, as did Switzerland…. maybe it’s just the survivors who are happy?


  7. Hello. The link is gated. I would like to know the Philippines’ rank. Many thanks for any help.


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