by Joel Burgess

Adrian White, a psychologist from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, recently produced the first ever world map of happiness. This interesting survey attempts to determine what happiness consists of, and more importantly, who has it?

What does it consist of?

Conclusions from the report state that happiness is most closely associated with health, followed by wealth, and then education.

Who has it?

The 10 happiest nations in the world are:

1.  Denmark
2.  Switzerland
3.  Austria
4.  Iceland
5.  The Bahamas
6.  Finland
7.  Sweden
8.  Bhutan
9.  Brunei
10. Canada

Oh, by the way, the US ranked 23rd.
In addition, according to White, “There is increasing political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator in conjunction with measures of wealth. A recent BBC survey found that 81% of the population thinks the government should focus on making us happier rather than wealthier.

Let’s presume for a moment that governments should focus on making us happier and that  happiness is measured by health, wealth, and education. While one can plausibly argue these points, I contend the reason these three factors were cited is because they can be measured/tracked in a consistent way.

Whether it’s personal development, community, or economic development, true happiness is less quantifiable and more consistent in an individual’s/organization’s meaningful relationships, freedoms, purpose, and significance. These core factors actually enable one to experience greater enrichment through health, wealth, and learning, no matter how a government/individual may define them.

Source: Adrian White
University of Leicester