Here’s The Happiest Country In The World
Gallup’s annual worldwide End Of Year survey interviewed over 64,000 people from 65 countries and asked them, among other things, whether they were happy with their lives. Despite how terribly world events played out in 2014, the world was 10 percent happier than in 2013, with 70 percent of participants reporting that they’re pleased with their lives! This week I’d been feeling less optimistic than usual about the whole New Year’s shebang, and news like this is exactly what I needed to hear to feel a bit brighter about 2015. Even more awesome is that only six percent of participants said they were unhappy with their lives, which is an improvement from the 12 percent who said so last year. The survey also discovered the happiest and unhappiest countries in the world. I’d assumed the happiest country would be someplace like Sweden or Denmark that always seems to rank high in well-being studies. As it would happen, the answer is even more obvious than that — paradise!
The Pacific wonderland of Fiji is the world’s happiest country, with a whopping 93 percent of its residents reporting that they’re happy with their lives, and really, that should surprise no one. I don’t like the somewhat insensitive generalization that life on an island must be easier than life in the rest of the world, but being surrounded by all that gorgeous natural scenery can’t hurt! African and Asian nations are the happiest regions, with 83 percent and 77 percent of citizens respectively reporting happiness. On the opposite end of the scale, Iraq, which had a particularly violent 2014, is the least happy of the nations. Only 31 percent of its residents are happy.
Not only are people feeling more joyful this year, they’re feeling more optimistic. Over half of participants — 53 percent — believe that 2015 will be a better year than 2014, which is an increase from last year. The number of people feeling pessimistic about the new year dropped as well. This news comes as a little odd considering all the awfulness we witnessed in 2014, but it’s such an encouragement. As WIN/Gallup International Association President Jean-Marc Leger concluded in the survey, “Whilst the outlook for the world’s economy remains unpredictable our happiness refuses to wane and remains high across the globe.” I sure like the sound of that.
[Image via Shutterstock]