Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Seven of the top ten happiest countries are western democracies


A NEW British survey published today says Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi are the most unhappy countries in the world with Denmark coming out at the top in a survey that measured health, wealth, education, sense of identity and the aesthetic quality of the landscape.

The survey, published by a University of Leicester academic, showed seven of the top ten happiest countries were western democracies, with the Bahamas, Bhutan and Brunei being the exceptions.

Following Denmark came Switzerland, Austria and Iceland. The United States was 23rd, Germany came in at number 35, and Britain ranked 41st.

According to the survey, the most depressing country to live in is war-ravaged Burundi at number 178. It is one of the poorest countries in the world with low-levels of natural resources. Zimbabwe, with its economy in freefall was at number 177, and the war-torn DRC 176.

Another British study published earlier this month also found Zimbabweans to be among the unhappiest people on earth. The survey also found the tiny South Pacific Ocean archipelago of Vanuatu to be the happiest country on Earth.

That study by the New Economics Foundation, a think-tank, ranked certain members of the Group of Eight industrialised countries much lower than the present survey.

The United States, for example, ranked 150th, Germany 81st and Britain 108th.

"When people are asked if they are happy with their lives, people in countries with good health care, a higher GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy," said Adrian White, the social psychologist who carried out the latest study.

"The frustrations of modern life, and the anxieties of the age, seem to be much less significant compared to the health, financial and educational needs in other parts of the world."

Affluent Homogeneous Small Countries Happiest


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