The happiest and saddest countries in the European Union are revealed in time for the International Day of Happiness today.
The Scandinavian nations of Denmark, Finland and Sweden all topped the list in the overall happiness stakes with 8.0 out of 10 – Eurostat figures from 2013 that were released yesterday show.
High GDP, progressive tax, good healthcare and education, beautiful landscapes as well as the Nordic model of a free market economy with a generous welfare state have long been thought of as bedrocks of stability and satisfaction in those countries.
Netherlands and Austria follow not too far behind them with 7.8.
The United Kingdom enjoys an above-average happiness rating of 7.3, which is on par with Germany and Poland. The average for the whole of the EU is 7.0.
The most optimistic and content of us Brits seem to be carefree young ones aged 16-24 and newly-retired people aged 65-74. Everyone else is presumably just too stressed and depressed.
Health was considered the most important contributor to happiness levels as well as having a high-enough income and being in a satisfying and stable job. Happy family and social lives are also championed as ultimate sadness-busters.
The unhappiest country is apparently Bulgaria with 4.8 out of 10. More specifically, Bulgarians over the age of 75 report to have a happiness rating of 3.8 – which is the lowest in any of the demographics in any of the EU nations.
It does not fare any better for other age groups in Bulgaria as the country is deemed the most gloomy and unsatisfactory for every single age group out of all the countries.
The unstable economies of Mediterranean nations Greece, Cyprus and Portugal are suspected to have a negative effect on their populations as all three were rated comparatively low to the UK at 6.2. Serbia also dropped to their level on overall rankings.
It goes to show that sun-soaked horizons do not necessarily equal happiness, as the Nordic nations have demonstrated.Reuse content