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Author Topic: Canada 10th on "World Happiness Map", called a reality check for western nations  (Read 1506 times)

Sportsdude

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Canada 10th on "world Happiness Map", called a reality check for western nations

CP

Yahoo Canada

  TORONTO (CP) - Canada has made the top 10 on a "world map of happiness," which rates 178 countries ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe on their populations' overall sense of well-being.  

 Ranked 10th in the world, Canada scored high on the map's three major measures of happiness - health, wealth and access to education, said one of its creators, Adrian White of the University of Leicester in England.

 

 White, an analytic social psychologist who is working towards his PhD, believes the map is the first to illustrate levels of happiness and well-being on such a global scale.

 

 "I don't know if it's been the same in Canada, but recently there's been a lot of political interest in looking at happiness as a measure of a country's performance, rather than just GDP (gross domestic product)," White said Thursday from Leicester.

 

 He said that in recent years, there has been a growing debate, particularly in England, over whether countries should focus more on societal happiness than on wealth creation.

 

 "The underlying assumption between that is that the two aren't related. But if you look at the countries that don't have the finances for health or education for their children, there's much lower levels of satisfaction with life."

 

 "When you look at the map, it really hits home that we're actually doing quite well (in the west) and it's the poorer countries that are deprived of the health care and education that we have."

 

 Topping the happiness map is Denmark, a country White described as scoring "very high" in health, wealth and access to primary and secondary school education. As well, the Scandinavian country enjoys two other measures of well-being used to construct the map: it has a relatively small population, which appears to give nations a stronger sense of identity and a greater feeling of interdependence, and it has "esthetics."

 

 "Countries with huge populations like China, India and Russia - 82nd, 125th and 167th, respectively on the map - tend to do quite badly," White said. "And one of the reasons we put that down to is the collective identity."

 

 Esthetically, Denmark's geography also has much to offer its citizens - and the same thing goes for Canada, he said.

 

 "Canada is obviously a country of great natural beauty, and that may be one of the reasons that the people of Canada are happier."

 

 Ulrich Schimmack, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, questions whether the country's physical splendour contributes to Canadians' happiness.

 

 But he said Canada's top-10 placement on the map is consistent with other life-satisfaction and well-being studies conducted over the last decade or two.

 

 "I guess we can feel proud about being a country that does very well. ... We can feel good about that," said Schimmack, whose areas of research include happiness and well-being. "Of course that doesn't mean that we can't try to do even better."

 

 Despite its superpower status and wealth-generating economy, the United States ranked 23rd on the happiness scale, while the United Kingdom was 41st (despite having the top-rated access to education in the world).

 

 "Japan is an interesting anomaly," said White, noting that the country enjoys all the ingredients that make up a sense of well-being. "And yet they're one of the least happy developed nations in the world. They're 90th."

 

 While he has no data to explain the low score, he speculated that cultural factors, such as a reticence to acknowledge happiness, may underlie the population's less-than-joyous outlook on life.

 Burundi claims the bottom spot on the list, preceded by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe - all African countries decimated by poverty and health crises such as HIV/AIDS.

 The map was constructed using data from 2002 to 2005 from more than 100 studies involving surveys of 80,000 people in the 178 countries. Available online Friday, it will be published in a general psychology journal later this year and presented at a University of Leicester conference in November or December.

 White and his Leicester colleagues hope the map will spur social scientists in countries around the world to adopt the same tests for measuring happiness and well-being, so that populations can be tested on a regular basis and tracked over time.

 And they hope viewing happiness (or the lack of it) from a global perspective will inform the debate, particularly in western nations, about what direction government policies should take to improve the lives of citizens.

 It should offer a reality check, he said.

 "In Malawi, nearly half the education budget is spent on providing funerals for teachers who have died of AIDS. When you compare our problems and tribulations with things like that, they just pale into insignificance."

 

 [A href="http://www.le.ac.uk/psychology/aw57/world/sample.html"]http://www.le.ac.uk/psychology/aw57/world/sample.html[/A]

 

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purelife

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I just saw that in today's Vancouver Sun.  I thought that we were up there a few years back.  Switzerland used to be number one but not anymore..

Sportsdude

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Here's the list in order

  1. Denmark

2. Switzerland

3. Austria  

4. Iceland

5. Bahamas    

6. Finland

7. Sweden

8. Bhutan

9. Brunei Darussalam

10. Canada

11. Ireland

12. Luxembourg

13 Costa Rica  

14. Malta  

15. Netherlands

16. Antigua And Barbuda  

17. Malaysia

18. New Zealand

19. Norway

20. Seychelles

21. St Kitts And Nevis

22. UAE

23. USA

24. Vanuate

25. Venzuela

26. Austrailia

  35. Germany

41. United Kingdom

50. Italy

62. France

90. Japan  
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Lise

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Apparently they haven't seen the nasties that is DV.
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kingy

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we got beat by Bhutan and Brunei? i cant really say i know where those countries are.
...


Sportsdude

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[img height=115 alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/LocationBhutan.png" width=250 border=0]

Bhutan

  [img height=115 alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/LocationBrunei.png" width=250 border=0]

Brunei  
"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

 

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