Netherlands lands in sixth on UN's Happiness survey; Nearly 90 pct. of Dutch are happy

Happiness . Photo: Joy Coffman / Wikimedia Commons

The Netherlands landed in sixth place, bumping Canada down one spot, in this year's survey of the world's happiest countries. The list is published annually by the United Nations. The news comes on the same day that the official statistics office of the Netherlands reports that nearly 90 percent of the population describes themselves as "happy."

Norway took the top spot on the list, an honour that went to Denmark a year ago. The ten happiest nations are:

  1. Norway 
  2. Denmark 
  3. Iceland 
  4. Switzerland 
  5. Finland 
  6. Netherlands 
  7. Canada 
  8. New Zealand 
  9. Australia 
  10. Sweden

People in Yemen were least likely to call themselves happy, followed by Southern Sudan, Liberia, Guinea and Togo

Netherlands Happiness Survey

About nine out of ten adult Dutch consider themselves happy, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday, the International Day of Happiness. A massive 88 percent of Dutch give their happiness level a score of 7 out of 10 or higher. This figure has been pretty stable since the statistics office started keeping score of happiness in 2013.

The figures don't offer massive surprises. People with good health (94 percent) are more likely to consider themselves happy than people with "very bad" health (54 percent). A good relationship also goes along with happiness (92 percent). But 82 percent of divorced people also describe themselves as happy. And so do 75 percent of widows and widowers. 72 percent of single people consider themselves happy. 

Of the 7,500 respondents, only 3 percent consider themselves really unhappy. The other nine percent are happy-ish, giving their happiness average scores of five or six. 

The United nations established the International Day of Happiness in 2013 "to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people world wide". It is one of about 130 of the United Nations' international days.