The annual World Happiness Report is an indicator of the state of global happiness. The 2017 edition ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels. International researchers analyze both national data and results from surveys among residents. The factors compared are:
- per capita gross domestic product
- healthy life expectancy
- social support
- absence of corruption in government or business
According to the World Happiness Report 2017, the top four countries rank so closely to each other that small changes can re-order the rankings from year to year. “All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance,” explain the authors. In 2016, Switzerland occupied rank 2 with Denmark in first place, in 2015 it reached the number one spot.
The top 20 countries in this year’s list include Finland (5), Canada (7), Israel (11), Costa Rica (12), the US (14) and Germany (16). At the bottom of the ranking is the Central African Republic.
Switzerland has just recently climbed the top of the Best Countries Rankings by U.S. News & World Report and is considered one of the only three “fully stable” countries, according to Marsh’s Political Risk Map 2017. The country is also home to four of the top 15 cities with the highest quality of life worldwide: Zurich (2nd), Geneva (8th), Basel (10th), and Berne (14th).