Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We're no Danes but ...

Canadian Press

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — Compared with the rest of the world, Canadians are a pretty happy lot.

Canada sits ninth of 95 nations ranked in a “global happiness index" created by Dutch academic Ruut Veenhoven in 1999.

Canada has a score of 7.6 on the World Database of Happiness, compared with the U.S. score of 7.4, which ranks 17th. The top rated countries are Denmark (8.2) and Switzerland (8.1). At the bottom, Tanzania, by contrast, received a score of 3.2.

Mr. Veenhoven told CTV News that all countries in the top group – mostly Western and rich – scored closely, with small variations. He pointed out that they are all democratic, have gender equality and are fairly tolerant.

Mr. Veenhoven's major factors contributing to happiness are the quality of society as a whole, quality of employers and education, and personal choice.

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