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World Happiness Report: Content Canadians at #6

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World Happiness Report: Content Canadians at #6

Canadians are a happy bunch: our home and native land is the sixth-happiest country in the UN’s World Happiness Report.

Don’t let rain, clouds, or snow get you down: weather aside, Canada is a pretty happy place. (It must be all our “please-and-thank-you”s.)

The happiest place(s) on earth

“Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”With all due respect to JM Barrie, northern European countries might be even happier than Peter’s playground.

Published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the second World Happiness Report ranks the well-being of people in more than 150 countries. The report was edited by Canada’s own John Helliwell, a professor and researcher at the University of British Columbia. For those seeking utopia (or at least a place where people smile a lot), look no further than the countries that contended with Canada for the top five spots.

  1. Denmark
  2. Norway
  3. Switzerland
  4. Netherlands
  5. Sweden

(So close, Canada!) We do, however, get bragging rights over quite a few places: The US trailed at number 17, while countries such as Egypt ranked lower due to war, politics, and money troubles. The report also links happiness to longevity, success, and earnings potential. Beyond countrywide variables—such as real GDP per capita and political crises—factors that seem to most impact our individual levels of happiness include

  • expecting to live a long time
  • having someone to count on
  • feeling free to make life choices
  • being more honest and generous

The pursuit of happiness

So, to recap: staying healthy, being a generally good person, and relying on friends and family are the keys to unlocking a happy life.

Do you have a personal secret to happiness? Let the rest of us in on your insights via Twitter and Facebook or in the comments below.

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