Denmark is the happiest country in the world with Burundi sitting bottom of the 157-nation UN-sanctioned World Happiness Report 2016. The Scandinavian nation, with a population of 5.6 million, has topped the list twice before since the world body started measuring happiness around the world in 2012.
The report, released on Wednesday, ranks the countries on a variety of factors: People’s health and access to medical care, family relations, job security and social factors, including political freedom and degree of government corruption. Denmark, where women hold 43 percent of the top jobs in the public sector, is known for its extensive and generous cradle-to-grave welfare.
Few complain about the high taxes as, in return, they benefit from a health system where everybody has free access to a general practitioner and hospitals. Taxes also pay for schools and universities, and students are given monthly grants for up to seven years. Many feel confident that if they lose their jobs or fall ill, the state will support them.
Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University, one of those behind the report, says that happiness and well-being should be on every nation’s agenda. “Human well-being should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives,” he said in a statement.