Worldwide, Norway displaced Denmark as the world's happiest country.
According to the survey, Norway is the world's happiest country, Denmark is in second place.
The bottom five countries in the list included Rwanda, Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and Central African Republic. Rattled by a slow economic recovery and deeply partisan political landscape, the USA dropped down one spot from past year to the 14th happiest in the world. And while higher pay clearly makes workers happier, work-life balance, job security, health and safety, social capital and autonomy are also predictive of a higher state of happiness on the job. Other factors include GDP per capita and life expectancy, which "depend importantly on the social context" notes the report. In all countries, misery would be reduced more by eliminating depression and anxiety disorders than by reducing poverty, low education, unemployment, physical illness or a lack of social support. Despite rising wages, overall happiness has fallen from 13th position globally to 14th, pointing to a need for a more comprehensive approach from government, the report suggests.
One of the reasons for the good performance of Nordic countries in the happiness report is the sense of community in societies, according to its lead author.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and a co-author of the report, says attention must be drawn to the importance of creating sound policy for what matters most to people: their well-being.
Sachs said the U.S. was falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. Iceland 4. Switzerland 5.
Income per person has increased roughly three times since 1960, but measured happiness has not risen - indeed, it has dipped over the past decade from 7.5 out of 10, to 6.8 out of 10.
At No. 33, Taiwan ranked as the third happiest country in Asia, trailing Singapore (No. 26) and Thailand (No. 32), and ahead of Malaysia (No. 42) and Japan (No. 51).
"The United States can and should raise happiness by addressing America's multi-faceted social crisis- rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust-rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth, especially since the concrete proposals along these lines would exacerbate rather than ameliorate the deepening social crisis".