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Daily Dutch News in English

World Happiness Report ranks Netherlands 4th happiest nation in the world

The first ever United Nations “World Happiness Report,” released Monday has ranked the Netherlands as the fourth happiest nation in the world.

The World Happiness Report ranked Denmark at the top of the scale, ahead of Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Canada.

And even though the top ranked countries on the list are wealthy and the least happy countries are dirt poor, those gathered at a high-level UN summit in New York say a country’s wealth doesn’t equate to its happiness.

Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries. At the individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial.

These are among the findings of the first ever World Happiness Report, commissioned for the April 2nd United Nations Conference on Happiness (mandated by the UN General Assembly). The report, published by the Earth Institute and co-edited by the institute’s director, Jeffrey Sachs, reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and absence of misery as criteria for government policy. It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.

The report noted that social factors such as the strength of social support, the absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom were more important than wealth.

It also listed a number of suggestions for governments to promote happiness among their citizens including helping people meet their basic needs, reinforcing social systems, implementing active labour policies, limiting the scale of greenhouse gas emissions, improving mental health services, promoting physical health, and helping the public resist hyper-commercialism.

Top 10 happiest nations on the planet:

1. Denmark
2. Finland
3. Norway
4. Netherlands
5. Canada
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. New Zealand
9. Australia
10. Ireland