Something Happy in the State of Denmark

The first ever map of world happiness.

The first ever world map of happiness was just released by a researcher in the UK. Using the results of more than 100 studies, he color-coded countries’ levels of happiness. (In the map below, the redder the country, the happier it is.)

happy map

Denmark, apparently, is the happiest country on earth; and other Scandinavian countries also rank highly. Canada pulls in at a very respectable number 10 while the United States is 24th happiest country. Interestingly, all of Europe’s highly populated countries rank below the United States (with, perhaps, the exception of the Netherlands at 15th).

Nearly all of the top-ranking countries are also among the world’s wealthiest. But there are a couple of striking exceptions: Bhutan is 9th, though it has roughly 1/30th the per capita GDP of the US (and 1/25th that of Denmark). Much richer than Bhutan, but much poorer than the industrial West, another batch of countries scores in the top 20: Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbados, and Malaysia.

The Vancouver Sun has further details.

We are a community-supported resource and we can’t do this work without you!


  1. Arie v. says:

    Looking at top countries that I know something of, such as Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands I’d say that there are two factors that may contribute. Wealth of course, but just as importantly less disparity wrt incomes and priviledge. With the second also comes a basic sense of security that comes with access to healthcare, a social security net, and low crime rates. I’m surprised the US scored as high as 24th.

  2. Jan says:

    Why is Bhutan so high? Because they actually measure and encourage happiness!You can’t manage a thing you don’t measure. Instead of Gross Domestic Product, western nations should be measuring their happiness, with government programs optimized for increasing it.But we’d rather equate “quality of life” with dollars spent. So a dollar spent cleaning up a mess that a company made while making a dollar counts twice as much of a desirable thing.

  3. Jerry Steinberg says:

    I’d be curious to know whether the degree of happiness of the citizens has any relation to the population density of the countries. I find that I am highly stressed in the downtown core of any city, while I’m very relaxed when in rural or wooded areas.Jerry SteinbergFounding Non-Father of NO KIDDING!The international social club for childless and childfree couples and; [email protected]

  4. dinakar says:

    This is complete crap. India is the happiest nation in the world hands down. This is the most what a complete Euro-centric biased piece of crap map this is.

Leave a Comment

Please keep it civil and constructive. Our editors reserve the right to monitor inappropriate comments and personal attacks.


You may add a link with HTML: <a href="URL">text to display</a>