Article courtesy of Fast Company via “The Rundown”
For a country that prides itself on pursuing happiness (it’s in the Declaration of Independence, even), America isn’t particularly happy in international terms. European nations regularly top the U.S in surveys of happiness, showing how well-being isn’t necessarily linked with economic growth.
The United Nations’s latest World Happiness Report shows this once again. Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland occupy the top five places, as they have in previous years (though in slightly different orders). The U.S. is in 18th place, and our happiness levels may, in fact, be falling.
The ranking, which is overseen by three well-known happiness academics, is based on Gallup survey data from 2015 to 2017. In each of more than 150 countries surveyed, 3,000 respondents were asked to assess their life on an imaginary ladder, on a scale of 1 to 10. The top rung (10) means they are living the best possible life; the bottom means the worst.
Americans give an average rung-number of 6.8, while the top four countries all score more than 7.5. Our score has fallen by 0.315 points since 2008-2010, according to the report, which is produced by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network. We were in 14th place overall last year.