Norway overtakes Denmark at the top of United Nations happiness scale

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Gross domestic product in the United Kingdom was growing at about 2%, and unemployment had dropped to 4.9%.

In February, the United Arab Emirates held a full-day World Happiness meeting. Each year, researchers survey 1,000 people in each country.

However, Maldives did not figure in the World Happiness Report.

Studying happiness may seem frivolous, but serious academics have always been calling for more testing about people's emotional well-being, especially in the United States.

Norway was found to be the happiest nation on Earth with Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland close behind.

Happiness - and doing what you love - is more important than politicians think, said study author Helliwell.

Norway vaulted to the top slot in the World Happiness Report despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy.

The Gallup World Poll (GWP) ratings of happiness is used, which is measured on the "ladder of life", a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 indicating greatest happiness. Not bad, but worth noting-especially since the authors of the report included an entire chapter this year titled "Restoring American Happiness" that outlines why Americans might be feeling less happy even despite economic growth. Other questions measure people's perceived levels of freedom, generosity and trust - both in each other and in their governments and businesses. Happiness, on the other hand, told a different story.

Now this is only a story because its fun to point out that somehow the countries that birthed the Vikings are happier than we are. Since the revolution, Ukrainians' happiness ratings have been at record lows.

The World Happiness Report is a survey of global societal well-being that ranks 155 countries by happiness levels using variables such as GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy.

Work is also a major factor affecting happiness, with unemployment causing a significiant fall in happiness, and even for those in employment the quality of work can cause major variations in happiness.

According to the report, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen were the least happy.

India came down by three slots, as a year ago it was placed at 118th spot. The happiest African country was Algeria, followed by Mauritius and Libya. Measures of how people rate their lives are quickly becoming just as important as indicators of income and employment. Despite the banking collapse in the two countries, the happiness of these nations was affected much less than expected. The US had never cracked the top 10 since the rankings were first published in 2012, when it came in at 11th place.

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