Denmark, with Switzerland hot on its heels, is the happiest country in the world. Conversely, Burundi is the least happy, according to the annual international happiness study, that was published on Wednesday and in which France ranks 32nd.
The World Happiness Report 2016, is the fourth to attempt to quantify the happiness of world populations, in an attempt to build healthier and more effective societies. The UN published the first edition of this report back in 2012.
After Denmark and Switzerland, come Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden: seven of the ten happiest countries in the world are thus small or medium-sized Western European countries.
The US is 13th, gaining two positions compared to the previous report last year. Germany is 16th, Belgium 18th, the United Kingdom 23rd and France 32nd, only two places in front of Saudi Arabia (in 34th).
Spain is 37th and Italy scoops 50th place.
Denmark led the field in 2013, having then lost this honour and being substituted by Switzerland in 2015, but regaining the title this year.
Burundi is the least happiest country in the world (157th), preceded by war-torn Syria (in 156th place). Togo is 155th, Afghanistan 154th, Benin 153rd, preceded by Rwanda (152th), Guinea, Liberia and Tanzania.
The report, which compares data from 2005 through to 2015 also states that, on the international stage, Greece is the country which has experienced the most significant decrease in happiness. It has been faced with firstly the economic crisis and then the migrant crisis. It comes in at 99th.
China ranks 83rd.
The authors say that six factors (GDP per inhabitant, social support, life expectancy, social liberty, generosity and an absence of corruption) explain nearly three quarters of the variations between countries.
The report compared the degree of happiness between 2005 to 2007, before the financial crisis with the period 2013 to 2015.
Unfortunately for them, the losers include Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Italy and Greece. Happily for them, the winners include China, Thailand, Equador, Nicaragua, Chile and Russia.