Canada ranked second happiest country in the world

Krista - posted on 04/20/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )




"If you're not smiling, you are amongst a minority of Canadians.

That's because a well-being survey conducted by Gallup finds Canada to be the second-happiest country in the world. (See entire list)

"This is no great surprise," says University of British Columbia professor of economics John Helliwell who specializes in well-being. "Canada tends to have more of the things that make life better ... some way of getting educated and staying healthy."

He says having someone to rely on in a time of trouble is also important because it means one has a bigger circle of friends. In Canada, 95 per cent of people have at least one person who can help, whereas that number is below 50 per cent in countries lower on the list.

According to the survey, 69 per cent of Canadians rated their lives as "thriving." Sweden ties with Canada for second place, while Denmark tops the list with 72 per cent of people liking life.

"We'll never beat Denmark, they are just a little smarter at running things," says Helliwell, who notes the likelihood of having a lost wallet returned is higher there. "How free you are to make life decisions is higher in Denmark and high in Canada as well."

Respondents were asked to rate their lives at the moment and their expectations for the next five years on a scale from one to 10. If respondents rated their lives as seven or better and their expectations as eight or better they were considered to have "thriving" well-being.

If people gave lower numbers, they were considered to be "struggling" or "suffering." Respondents who were "suffering" rated their current life situation, and expectations for the next five years, as four and below. These respondents were more likely to lack food, shelter and access to health care. The survey was based on the Cantril Scale.

Thirty per cent of Canadians ranked their lives as "struggling" and two per cent were "suffering."

Helliwell even separates Canada into regions, saying that despite having higher unemployment Atlantic Canada is actually pulling up their numbers. He says this is because those in the Maritimes have stronger feelings of community and interact more with neighbours.

Given the correlation between well-being and GDP, it's no surprise the top of the list is dominated by developed, wealthy nations.

Despite being the richest country in the world, the United States finished 12th on the list, with 59 per cent of respondents "thriving." Chad finished at the bottom with only one per cent "thriving."

Overall, global well-being didn't change from last year, remaining at 21 per cent.

Results are based on face-to-face and phone interviews with about 1,000 adults in 124 countries."

Link to entire list:

I'm a happy Canadian, so I'm not too surprised. What do you think? Are you surprised at where your country stands?


View replies by

Amber - posted on 04/22/2011




@ Kate ~ I'd assume that in Israel they didn't ask any Palestinians :) haha That's the only way they would get a good rating.

Amanda - posted on 04/22/2011




If they polled me this winter we wouldnt be in the top 3 :0)
I dont know how right this study is, as I live in a mega city where I know MANY people who are not happy at all. Im a pretty happy Canadian though (until the election call that shit gets under my skin, and this long ass winter!!).

Jenn - posted on 04/22/2011




we honeymooned in Whistler and were amazed how friendly and helpful the Canadians were. We will take our children back to Canada is gorgeous as well as happy!

Elfrieda - posted on 04/21/2011




Yup, I'm happy! If spring would get its boots on and get down to business, I'd be even happier. :)

Jocelyn - posted on 04/21/2011




No I'm not surprised at all; everybody I know is quite happy (we have it pretty easy I'd say) lol
I'm also not surprised that the Aussies are number 3!

Tara - posted on 04/21/2011




Yea Finland ranks 4th! My dad was born there and lived there until he was 10. I am a first generation Canadian and the first female "Kruusi" ever born outside of Finland.
I guess I get an extra dose of happy. Funny though my dad is a generally unhappy person.

Tara - posted on 04/21/2011




I'm a happy Canuck. I think that a lot of it has to do with our sense of security and safety within our country.
I'm not wealthy, I'm not super educated, I'm not in a position of authority, but I am living in the best country in the world. And that not only makes me happy but also grateful.
My girls are among the luckiest girls born in the world to be born in Canada.

Caitlin - posted on 04/21/2011




Pretty neat, I find it easier to believe, people overall are pretty carefree, though the only thing I find off about it is ONLY 1000 people from these countries were polled.. and that's not a lot..

Iris - posted on 04/21/2011




Ah! No wonder I like you Jennifer! I guess your family went from best to second you get the silver and the gold! Although, I'll always be bias, as an Icelander....except for my Danish grandfather, I'll always love the Scandinavian countries the most. And Iceland more then any other.

Jenni - posted on 04/21/2011




Wheeeee! I'm happy. :))

@Iris Me too!!! My mom's family is from Denmark. My mom was born here in Canada but her parents/grandparents and so on came from Denmark. Does that make me doubly happy?

Iris - posted on 04/21/2011




I'm not surprised Denmark is at the top. I'm part Danish (grand father and my father lived there for 20 years) and lived there for 14 months. Love that place, people are so carefree and friendly.

My brother moved over to Denmark with his family, were going to stay there for few years...he's still there 8 years later and not moving.

I ♥ DK.

*Edit* I've never been to Canada but my husband has and he loved it and talks about it often.

Johnny - posted on 04/21/2011




This makes me very thankful to be fortunate enough to have been born here and not in Chad. It really is luck of the draw :(

Stifler's - posted on 04/21/2011




Not really. I live in Australia. We are a spoiled country compared to other countries.

Amber - posted on 04/20/2011




Ahhhh...ok. I just looked at the list. Sorry :)

*Edited to add*

Actually, you copied the whole article. I read it, and I still didn't get it. Today is not my day! haha

Amber - posted on 04/20/2011




I'm in the US and we're 12th. Not really surprised with the economy being down and so many things up in the air with change. A lot of people have life pretty good, but many are struggling too.

*Canada is 3rd on the list according to the list you posted, just so you know. Denmark and Sweden are 1 and 2.*

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