People in the United Kingdom are becoming happier despite division over Brexit and economic uncertainty, a report has revealed.
A survey of 1,000 people in more than 150 countries asked them to rate their happiness on a scale of 0-10 based on income and life expectancy, along with their feelings about social support, personal freedom, corruption and generosity.
The UK had a score of 6.5 happiness ratio in 2015, but this increased to 6.8 in 2016 when the survey was carried out in December, several months after the Brexit vote.
Britain ranked 19th, up four places out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017 – ahead of France which came in at 31, although Germany is happier than we are at 16.
However the UK is less happy than it was in 2008, when it topped 6.9.
And the Irish have bigger smiles – they topped us by four places coming in at 15th.
The report, compiled by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012, covers a three-year period up until the end of 2016.
It showed people in Norway were the happiest, whilst people in the Central African Republic were the least happy.
Researchers found that money does not buy happiness: the US has seen an increase in income and falling unemployment, but dropped a place in the rankings to 14th.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the SDSN and a special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General, said: “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.”
He called on countries with a low happiness rating to appoint ministers of happiness.
He said: I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyse it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction.”
:: Top 10 happiest
1. Norway – 7.54
2. Denmark – 7.52
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
:: Bottom 10 happiest
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