Are Americans “happy” compared to people in other countries? Show Notes

Monday, September 16, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Are you feeling happy? If not, maybe you should move to Denmark. 

A new report is out, and it claims that Denmark is the world’s happiest country. We Americans came in at #17, which isn’t bad considering that the report ranked 156 countries around the world.

USA Today reports that the World Happiness survey was produced by the United Nations, so we may want to take the results with a grain of salt.

According to the UN, the happiest folks live in northern Europe, in countries like Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The lowest ranked were Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo, all located in Africa.

The report is based on how people around the world rate their overall satisfaction with life, not just on how they feel at any moment. It shows that while economic conditions matter, other factors are important, such as life expectancy, freedom and social support. 

Happiness in the US fell slightly, but Americans remained happier than people in the United Kingdom, France, or Japan. Countries ranked higher than the USA included Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

One reason the US lags behind some other countries is what experts call "a relatively mediocre life expectancy. 

We also lost points, and fell from 11th to 17th, because of perceived declines in "freedom to make life choices," which could be linked to poverty or unemployment.

By the way, if you are searching for true happiness, consider these words from Psalm 33: 21: “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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