The Dutch are among the happiest folk on earth

Despite the economic gloom and rising unemployment, the Dutch are among the happiest people in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report.

The research, which looks at dozens of reports, rankings and other statistical information, put the Dutch in fourth place behind the Danes, Norwegians and Swiss.

The aim of the report, drawn up by American economists, is to help develop a ‘new type of policy-making aimed at increasing happiness and reducing misery’. It also looks at the difference between happiness as an emotion and happiness in the sense of life satisfaction.

The word ‘happiness’ is not used lightly, the report’s authors say in their introduction. ‘Happiness is an aspiration of every human being, and can also be a measure of social progress.’