• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Danes no longer world's happiest people: UN

AFP/The Local · 23 Apr 2015, 20:31

Published: 23 Apr 2015 20:31 GMT+02:00

It may finally be time to put Denmark’s reputation as the world’s happiest country to rest. 
 
In a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday, Switzerland was deemed the happiest country in the world, closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada.
 
The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012 and Denmark topped the 2013 version.
   
Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia round out the top ten in this year’s report, making small or medium-sized countries in Western Europe seven of the top ten happiest countries.
 
Although Danes can still feel, well, happy about their third place ranking, the World Happiness Report is the latest in a series of rankings in which Denmark did not come out on top. 
 
An international WIN/Gallup poll released in January put Denmark behind Finland as the happiest country in Europe, although over three fourths of all Danes polled (76 percent) said that they feel either ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’ about their lives.
 
And a Gallup and Healthways Global poll from September also put Denmark in ‘only’ third place when it comes to overall well-being. Panama and Costa Rica topped that list. 
 
Just last month however, Denmark topped a Eurostat study on life satisfaction released in conjunction with  the International Day of Happiness.
 
In 2015 World Happiness Report, academics identified the variables as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.
   
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and one of the editors, said the top 13 countries were the same a second year running although their order had shifted.
   
They combined affluence with strong social support, and relatively honest and accountable governments, he told a news conference.
   
Story continues below…
"Countries below that top group fall short, either in income or in social support or in both," Sachs explained.
   
The United States trails in 15th place, behind Israel and Mexico, with Britain at 21, pipped by Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. France ranks number 29, behind Germany in 26th place.
   
Afghanistan and war-torn Syria joined eight sub-Saharan countries in Africa -- Togo, Burundi, Benin, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Chad -- as the 10 least happy of 158 countries.
   
Despite the conflict raging in Iraq, that country was ranked 112, ahead of South Africa, India, Kenya and Bulgaria.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news.denmark@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danish MP cleared for 'bomb civilians' remark
Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. File photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

Copenhagen Police have dropped proceedings against Danish People’s Party (DF) spokesperson Søren Espersen after he said that Denmark “should start” bombing civilians in Syria.

Denmark's biggest IPO to be windfall for Goldman Sachs
Dong's expected market value is up to 106.5 billion kroner. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

The Danish wind farm group Dong Energy is valued at up to $16 billion, leading to renewed debate about its partial sale to the US investment bank.

Aarhus blocks plans for grand mosque
Aarhus will not get a new mosque after all. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

The sale of a plot of land for the construction of a grand mosque has been cancelled by Aarhus Municipality.

Denmark's waters are cleaner than ever
Danish beaches are cleaner than ever. Photo: Old Dane/ Wikipedia

Jump on in, the water's fine! In fact, it's cleaner than it's ever been.

Syrian refugees sue Denmark over long family wait time
File photo of the refugee tent camp in Thisted. Photo: Sara Gangsted/Scanpix

A group of five Syrians are suing Denmark and Immigration Minister Inger Støjberg over the three-year waiting period for family reunification imposed on refugees.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holder Mehvish Kiran said that her four children would not be able to adjust to life in Pakistan. Photo: Submitted

Thousands of green card holders are desperately trying convince politicians not to force them out of Denmark and say that a recently-granted extension to the scheme is a hollow victory.

Danish economy set for ‘historically’ low growth
File photo: Scanpix DK

Reports from the Ministry of Finance and independent experts suggest that the Danish economy is likely to be one of Europe’s slowest growers over the coming years.

Aarhus named 'second best place in Europe'
Aarhus was named one of the top European destinations of 2016 by the Lonely Planet. Photo: Stan Shebs/Wikimedia

Denmark's second largest city was named among the best European destinations to visit in 2016 by influential travel guide Lonely Planet.

Danish family reunification laws discriminate: court
The court said that Danish rules unfairly discriminate against those who obtain citizenship later in life. Photo: Colourbox

Denmark’s family reunification laws discriminate against those who achieve citizenship later in life, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.

Brexit
Brit visits Copenhagen on Brexit fact-finding mission
Rebecca Sumner Smith plans to visit the 27 other EU countries before next month's referendum. Photo: Submitted

The Local caught up with British expat Rebecca Sumner Smith when she stopped in the Danish capital as part of her mission to speak to fellow Brits across the EU.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
National
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
2,287
jobs available