World Happiness Report found New Zealand is a happier country than Australia

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A gleeful customer laughs with an Apple store employee at the Fifth Ave. shop after purchasing an the latest version of the phone. Reuters/ Lucas Jackson

This year’s World Happiness Report found that New Zealand is a happier country than Australia. The report shows that the Land of The Long White Cloud was ahead of the Down Under in terms of healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support, per capita gross domestic product and absence of corruption in government or business, and stressed that although money matters, it doesn’t buy extra happiness.

New Zealand ranked eight as eighth happiest country in the world while Australia is on the ninth spot. Norway was listed as the happiest country in the world.

The World Happiness Report was initiated by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative of the United Nations launched in 2012. Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN, explained what happy countries are about.

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” Sachs said. He added that through the report, they aim to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to find a better way of well-being for their respective countries.

The report also suggests that Americans are getting less happy, and that money is not the sole basis of happiness. Salary in the US has gone up over the past ten years, but happiness in the county is declining as it had fallen one spot to 14th.

Sachs explained that the slip in US’ rank is caused by inequality, distrust and corruption. He said the economic measures that US President Donald Trump is pushing would make the situation worse, reports news.com.au. “I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction,” he said, referring to healthcare rolls and military spending.

John Helliwell, the lead author of the report, said it is the human things that matter. “If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationships between people, is it worth it?” he asked. Below is the full list of happiest and saddest countries according to UN.

HAPPIEST COUNTRIES

1. Norway 7.54

2. Denmark 7.42

3. Iceland 7.5

4. Switzerland 7.49

5. Finland 7.47

6. Netherlands 7.38

7. Canada 7.32

8. New Zealand 7.32

9. Australia 7.28

10. Sweden 7.28

14. US 6.99

19. United Kingdom 6.714

SADDEST COUNTRIES

146. Yemen 3.59

147. South Sudan 3.59

148. Liberia 3.53

149. Guinea 3.51

150. Togo 3.49

151. Rwanda 3.47

152. Syria 3.46

153. Tanzania 3.35

154. Burundi 2.91

155. Central African Republic 2.69