Canadians have a new reason to smile: Canada is the fifth-happiest country in the world, according to the first World Happiness Report.
The report, commissioned for the UN’s 2nd Conference on Happiness and published by the Earth Institute, found that although happier countries tend to be wealthier countries, there is more to happiness than income. Social factors such as social support, absence of corruption and personal freedoms are more important, the report found.
The four happiest countries – Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands – are all in northern Europe, while the four least happy countries – Togo, Benin, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone – are all poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report.
The U.S. was 11th on the list and the U.K. was 18th.
The report found that as standards of living have risen over time, happiness has increased in some countries but not in others, such as the U.S. Overall, though, the world has become "a little happier" over the last 30 years, the report found.