BANGKOK, 9 April 2012 – Thailand has been ranked 52nd on the World Happiness Report while Scandinavian nations top the list of the world’s happiest countries.
Columbia University’s Earth Institute was commissioned to compile the first-ever World Happiness Report for the United Nations Conference on Happiness. The report evaluates happiness rankings conducted by several institutes, and gives an evaluation score to life while taking into account several factors, including health, family stability, job security, political freedom, and corruption.
According to the report, the world’s happiest countries are Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands and Canada. On the 6th-10th spots are Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland, followed by the USA at number 11. Meanwhile, Thailand has been placed at number 52, which is lower than its ASEAN neighbours, such as Singapore at number 33and Malaysia at number 51.
At the bottom of the list are Benin, Central African Republic, Togo and Sierra Leone. The report authors have indicated that the report aims to evaluate happiness based on universal factors. Previously, the happiness of an individual was evaluated from income; however, it was later argued that the Gross National Product (GNP) figure is not sufficient to measure a person’s happiness. Thus, the standard of living has been added into the calculation. At present, in order to determine an individual’s happiness, importance is given to human relations rather than only income.