Canadian’s may have a reputation for being a polite bunch, but it turns out we are also quite a happy group – sixth happiest in the world, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report released Wednesday.
The UN report scores countries based on data that asks people from nations around the world to rate their lives from 0 to 10 on a variety of factors – from life expectancy, social support and generosity, to the freedom to make life choices, the economy and perceptions of corruption.
Under those criteria, Canadians are happier than those living in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Denmark was declared the happiest country on earth.
On the flipside, African nations Togo and Burundi, alongside Syria, ranked at the bottom of 157 countries.
“Measuring self-reported happiness and achieving well-being should be on every nation’s agenda as they begin to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, in a press release.
Canada has ranked within the top ten happiest nations since the report was first published in 2012.
But we appear to be stuck hovering somewhere between the fifth happiest country in the world and the sixth.
In the first World Happiness Report – released in 2012 – Canada ranked fifth.
Then, in 2013, we ranked sixth.
Last year, Canada moved up one spot once again to place fifth.
“The rankings show both consistency and change,” said University of British Columbia professor John Helliwell, who edited the report.
“The consistency at the top reflects mainly that life evaluations are based on life circumstances that usually evolve slowly, and that are all at high levels in the top countries. The year-to-year changes are also moderated by the averaging of data from three years of surveys in order to provide large sample sizes.”
But the World Happiness report isn’t the only study to examine Canadians’ satisfaction with their country.
In fact, Canada was named the second best in the world in January in the inaugural “Best Countries” ranking from U.S. News & World Report. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting ranked 60 nations looking at 75 factors such as sustainability, adventure, cultural influence, entrepreneurship and economic influence.
Canada ranked particularly well in the citizenship, entrepreneurship, and open for business categories.