The Dutch are among the happiest people in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report drawn up by American economists.
The research, which looks at dozens of reports, rankings and other statistical information, put the Dutch in fourth place behind the Danes, Finns and Norwegians.
The aim of the report is to help develop a ‘new type of policy-making aimed at increasing happiness and reducing misery,’ says one of its authors, Jeffrey Sachs.
‘The bulk of public expenditure is on health, social care, law and order, the environment, child welfare, and income support,’ he says. ‘In none of these cases does willingness to pay provide adequate guidance to the benefits that arise. Happiness would be an excellent added criterion for evaluating these expenditures.’
In particular, the Netherlands and Denmark have a ‘high degree of equality’ in the distribution of happiness, the report says.