Norway topped this year’s World Happiness Report bumping off three-time titleholder and last year’s topnotcher Denmark to the second spot.
Norway placed fourth among the world’s happiest for the last two years and snagged the title this year for the first time.
Trailing closely in the 3rd and 4th places are Iceland and Switzerland, respectively.
The study, conducted and released by The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the United Nations, surveyed roughly 3000 individuals from more than 155 countries. The respondents were asked to evaluate the state of their current lives on a scale where 0 represents the worst possible life and ten being the best possible.
The study looked at six factors to consider the different aspects of life in various countries. These are Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita; healthy years of life expectancy; social support (measured by having someone to rely on); trust (measured by perceived absence of corruption in government and business); perceived freedom to make life decisions; and generosity.
The World Happiness Report was published first last April 2012. It aims to measure happiness and well-being as happiness has long been considered as the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.
However, in this year’s report, the focus is on the role of social factors in supporting happiness.