People Are Happier Than Ever  

A blog about business and economics.
Sept. 9 2013 4:41 PM

The World Is Getting Happier

happy

Today in good news, the United Nation's latest World Happiness Report was released and it shows that happiness is on the rise in more countries than it's falling. The increased happiness is driven by jolly Latin America and substantially rosier attitudes in Africa.

In terms of absolute levels, however, the happiest countries on earth continue to be the stereotypically phlegmatic people's of northern europe. Denmark leads the list (as usual), followed by Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In position six is Canada and then it's Finland, Austria, Iceland, and Australia. In general richer countries are happier (hence the dominance of Nordic and Anglophone countries) but there are some interesting outliers. Brazil is happier than France or Germany. Costa Rica and Panama are happier than the United States.

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Of the ten least-happy countries, nine are in Africa and the other is Syria.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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