World Happiness Report from UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
The report identifies the countries with the highest levels of happiness:
US comes #12 in a survey of 150 countries.
The lowest ranked were Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo, all in Africa. Happiness was up most in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, but down in countries struck by economic upheaval (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) or political convulsions (Egypt).
Six key variables explain three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries. These six factors include: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity. Some studies show mental health to be the single most important determinant of whether a person is happy or not. Yet, even in rich countries, less than a third of mentally ill people are in treatment.