Here’s the first major poll to call bullshit on North Korea’s “Global Happiness Index” which found earlier this year that China was the happiest nation in the universe and the DPRK was a very close second. In a survey of 155 countries around the world, Gallup has found China to be a rather unhappy nation.
Respondents were asked to reflect on their overall satisfaction with their lives to come up with a “life evaluation” score from 1 to 10. They were also asked how well they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged in order to come up with a “daily experiences” score. Subjects that reported high scores were considered to be “thriving.” Forbes drew up a ranking based on the percentage of thriving individuals in each country and found that China shared the 125th spot with Kenya and Ghana.
Taiwan took the 70th position together with Kazakhstan and Portugal while Hong Kong was ranked 81st alongside Singapore, Iran and Japan. Neither the DPRK nor Bhutan, the chief proponent of the “Gross National Happiness” concept was among the 155 countries surveyed.
Denmark was apparently the happiest country on earth, followed closely by other usual Scandinavian suspects like Finland, Norway and Sweden. Israel was a surprise show at the top of the charts, despite being constantly at war. Developing countries like Brazil, Panama, Mexico and Turkmenistan also did relatively well.
Explaining the strong performance by the Scandinavian countries, Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup, says, “One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. When we look at all the data, those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being.”