Destinations

All the happy people live in Scandinavia: A study of the happiest and saddest countries

Excerpt from Forbes

Jan 14, 2013 11:21 am

Skift Take

The U.S. could be becoming a less happy place for people to live, having slipped from the top ten for the first time, but that hasn’t impacted its image as a happy place to visit.

— Samantha Shankman

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Jeff  / Flickr

A happy couple goes camping in Jotunheimen, Norway. Jeff / Flickr


The United States is a nation in decline. Last year the land of the free and the home of the brave came in 10th place in the annual rankings of World’s Happiest Countries. This year the U.S.A. has slipped to 12th.

This marks the first time in the six-year history of the Legatum Institute‘s Prosperity Index that America has not placed in the top 10.

The Legatum Prosperity Index is based on a study of 142 countries comprising 96% of global population. Nations are analyzed and ranked on 89 indicators in 8 categories such as education, government and economics. Per capita GDP — basically how rich a nation is — is a factor in the index, but the whole point of the Legatum study is to look beyond such a simple measure at all the myriad issues that make up wellbeing and prosperity.

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