Iceland is the world’s ninth happiest country, according to the 2013 World Happiness Report published this week. The survey, which is the second of its kind, makes use of data collected from 156 countries around the world and is published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Last year, Iceland ranked #20 on the list. (It bears noting, however, that other surveys on world happiness found Iceland to be somewhat happier last year: Eurobarometer said that Icelanders were actually the second happiest people in the world in 2012.)
For the second year in a row, the World Happiness Report finds Denmark to be the happiest country in the world. Nordic countries ranked well in general, with Finland (#7), Sweden (#5), and Norway (#2) all ranking in the top ten. Defining happiness as a combination of both emotional feelings and quality of life as a whole, the survey develops its rankings on the basis of several factors, including life expectancy, perceptions of corruption, GDP per capita, freedom to make life choices, social support, and generosity.
“The first World Happiness Report attracted most attention with its rankings of average life evaluations,” says the report. “This year we dig deeper…We will also compare international differences in life evaluations with average measures of positive and negative emotions. This will set the stage for our later analysis of the happiness trends that have appeared in some countries and regions since the beginning of the Gallup World Poll in 2005.”