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Norway displaced Denmark as the world’s happiest country as Thailand was ranked 32 compared to last year’s 33rd ranking in the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.
Nordic countries are the most content whereas countries in the sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the UN.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.
South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central Africa Republic were at the bottom.
“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the UN secretary-general.
The rankings are based on six factors – per capital gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.
Sachs said the US is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. He added that economic measures that President Donald Trump administration is trying to pursue will make things worse.