We were thrilled to read today that Canada is among the happiest countries in the world.

According to the World Happiness Report, a global study on social and economic well-being of various countries, Canada ranks fifth in the world. Only Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands came in ahead of our home and native land.

The report found that wealth, political and personal freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are the most important factors in determining the happiness of a nation. The latter three factors combined are more significant than wealth in “explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries.”

The report was published by the Earth Institute and co-edited by super-economist Jeffrey Sachs. Professor John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia was also on the editorial board though we’re sure that has nothing to do with Canada’s high placement.

Here are a few more intriguing conclusions the report reached:

  • As living standards have risen, happiness has increased in some countries but not in others
  • On average the world has become a little happier in the last 30 years
  • Unemployment causes as much unhappiness as bereavement or separation
  • Job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours
  • Behaving well makes people happier (tell that to your kids)
  • In advanced countries, women are happier than men while the position in poorer countries is mixed

Does Canada’s position put a smile on your face or what?

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