What makes a country happy? It is a question that numerous studies and organisms have tried to answer during the last decades. The parameters used to choose the classifications are varied, and far from perfect. The most celebrated, the World Happiness Report, part of the GDP and computes other parameters (from access to health and education to more abstract elements, such as personal self-realization) to list those states where people are happiest.
And more unhappy.
As we saw in its day, the methodology is not free of problems, as well as its reception and public interpretation. The nature of the question ( what is happiness?) Causes the paths to reach it always be the subject of dispute. Is material well-being, having money, a good public infrastructure, a state network that covers the needs of its citizens? Yes. Or is it the way of life, food, leisure, socialization, climate? According to others, too.
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In any case, the latter are difficult to calculate, and depend a lot on the degree of cultural preference (where he was born, in what environments he has moved, what he is used to) of each one. Hence, the World Happiness Report survives as a good tool, if imperfect, to understand which regions of the world offer greater objective welfare to its inhabitants. And that’s why Visual Capitalist has used it to draw the Global Map of Happiness.
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It is an exhaustive review that goes beyond the range of usual suspects (the countries of central and northern Europe) and identifies the happy bulbs in each continent, in addition to the most unhappy ones (which usually correlate with the poorest points and unequal in each region). Finland is above all (despite its peculiarities); Canada triumphs in North America; Chile in South America (although the 26th overall); Israel in the Middle East; Taiwan in Asia; Australia in Oceania; and Mauritius (57th overall) in Africa.
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By continental average, Europe is the most satisfied with its status (6.3 on average, only Ukraine and Albania are below 5); North America the second (6.2, but with the least happy country, Haiti); South America the third (6.3, Venezuela has fallen the most); Asia (5.4); and the Middle East (5.3, but with Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen below 3.5). Oceania? 7.3, but only two countries, and highly developed (New Zealand and Australia).
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