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Adrian G. White, an analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester’s School of Psychology, analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR, to create a global projection of subjective well-being (SWB): the first world map of happiness.

This study is very interesting for many different reasons and people. While happiness isn’t an accurate thing – Adrian G. White rightfully writes « subjective well-being » – this study was made with accurate data from different relevant sources. Interpretation of the map and rankings should be run with care.

Indeed, we can’t globalize our understanding of the meaning of the word “happiness” to the world. This concept can be different for different cultures. Thus, in the Buddhist religion and philosophy, happiness, truly isn’t the same and answers of Buddhist people could lead to an average level instead of a high ranking one. Some cultures are more humble and self-effacing than others and using the same scale for both can lead in inaccurate interpretation of the results through direct comparison.

A lot to debate of here isn’t it?

burton billboard



The twenty happiest countries 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 rankings: USA (23), France (62), China (82) Japan (90), India (125).


The original links:
University of Leicester Press release
University of Leicester Adrian G. White Sample study

and a funny study on the happiness of Danes:
Why Danes are smug: comparative study of life satisfaction in the European Union