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I've been wondering, .gs, where in the world are people really happy?
Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Canada typically rank up there in terms of polling. There is indeed such a thing as a World Happiness Report, which released the following ahead of a United Nations holiday celebrating... well, happiness.
It's actually really interesting reading if you have the time for it, but it does beg some deeper questions. Is there a reliable way to test for happiness? If the study is to be believed, then what qualities do the highest ranked countries share? What makes people happy?
My own observations lead me to think about things like public health, material security, quality of social relationships, and maybe most importantly, freedom and creative control over work. Amartya Sen put it pretty elegantly when he said the central concern of human development is ‘our capability to lead the kind of lives we have reason to value’.
How happy do you think people are in your area of the United Kingdom? How happy are you as an individual?