Switzerland is known as a delightful place to visit, and recent research has revealed that its residents exemplify that: Switzerland took the No. 1 spot on the 2015 World Happiness Report.
The World Happiness Report was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network in April 2015, quantifying the levels of happiness of 158 nations around the globe. The factors used to rank countries included healthy life expectancy, perceived freedom to make one's own choices, gross domestic product per capita, having people to count on in times of need and rates of generosity and corruption.
The rating system uses a 9-point scale. Switzerland scored a 7.59, faring especially well in terms of its social support system. The Swiss government has gained a reputation for providing social aid for its destitute, elderly, pregnant, grieving and other people in times of need. In fact, all of the top-ranking countries, including Canada, have a strong emphasis on social aid. The nations at the top of the list also have universal health care and the highest healthy life expectancy rates.
As Dr. Richard Layard, a professor at the London School of Economics and director of the school's Well-Being Programme, explained in a press conference, the aim of the study is to influence government policy for the betterment of humans around the world.
"As we consider the value of happiness in today's report, we must invest early on in the lives of our children so that they grow to become independent, productive and happy adults, contributing both socially and economically," Layard said.
Review the 10 happiest countries in the world, according to the 2015 World Happiness Report:
10 happiest countries
1. Switzerland (7.587)
2. Iceland (7.561)
3. Denmark (7.527)
4. Norway (7.522)
5. Canada (7.427)
6. Finland (7.406)
7. Netherlands (7.378)
8. Sweden (7.364)
9. New Zealand (7.286)
10. Australia (7.284)