The Netherlands has risen to sixth place on the World Happiness Report 2017, an annual ranking which assesses countries in terms of happiness and well-being rather than economic figures such as GDP.
The Netherlands has now risen ahead of Canada, the report, first published in 2012, says. The list is led by Norway, which has overtaken Denmark to reach the top spot.
The research is published by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network and aims to show that ‘well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy’.
The researchers look at factors such as social involvement, trust in society and government, healthcare and freedom.
The worst ranked countries are in Africa, with Rwanda, Tanzania and the Central African Republic making up the bottom.
The Dutch national statistics office CBS published its own figures on Monday showing that 88% of the Dutch consider themselves to be happy, and just 3% unhappy. The CBS says health is a key factor in this. Of those in poor health only 58% consider themselves to be happy.
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