World Happiness Report Lists Top Countries

The world happiness report was released last week and a new country has taken the top spot from previous years winner Denmark.

Norway was announced as the happiest out of 155 countries. The top five list was rounded out by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.

Canada fell this year to 7th, our lowest ranking since the happiness index began in 2012.

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Central African Republic was listed as the unhappiest  followed by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.

The rankings are based on GDP per person, life expectancy, social support, freedom to make life choices, sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.

It is clearly not about just how much money people have, but so much more. Norway had large declines in oil prices and still made the top of the list.

What do all of these countries have in common? The have high levels of unionization.

According to Psychology Today, ‘unions help to produce a greater level of happiness, and to help it be distributed in a more equitable manner, including to those who are not themselves union members.’

Another important aspect of the report was specifically the workplace.

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"People tend to spend the majority of their lives working, so it is important to understand the role that employment and unemployment play in shaping happiness," said Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, one of the authors of the report.

Union jobs provide good wages, benefits and stable hours – all aspects that are important in providing a good work-life balance. Work-life balance was an important aspect in measuring workplace happiness.

The results show that once again, countries that are highly unionized tend to be happier.