Scandinavia and happiness

Scandinavian countries often do well when it comes to quality of life indicators. It should come as no surprise then that Denmark has taken the top spot in a recently released United Nation's World Happiness Report 2016. The report is one of the most extensive quality of life measurements, examining economic, health, political, and various social factors. The report even looks at government corruption, and also considers factors such as equality.

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, one of the few democratic socialist politicians in the United States to ever rise to prominence, has cited Denmark as a model country.

Sanders went as far as to state that the country represents his ideal for the future of the United States.

Denmark is home to approximately 5.7 million people. The country is situated on a peninsula in northern Europe, and several islands in between the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The country's economy is highly developed and advanced, with a nominal per capita income in excess of $50,000 dollars per year.

Europe is quite happy

Other European countries dominated the list. Switzerland came in second place, while Iceland and Norway took third and fourth, respectively. These countries are known for their generous government benefits, and are frequently described as democratic socialist nations. Many other European countries placed high as well.

In the Americas, Canada took the top spot at 6th place, while Costa Rica was the highest ranked Latin American country, coming in at 14th. In Asia, Singapore came in at 22, while both New Zealand and Australia came in at 8th and 9th place, respectively, making Oceania perhaps the happiest region on earth.

The United States came in at 13th place. This marks an increase from 15th in the prior year. When measured according to inequality, America's ranked at only 85th, trailing just behind Chile.

Of all the countries ranked, Burundi came in last place at 157. On the whole, African and Central Asian countries generally ranked low compared to other regions.

In Europe, Bulgaria received the lowest ranking at 129, while Ukraine came in at 123.

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