The United Nations present their first World Happiness Report

The report reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and absence of misery as criteria for government policy.

Published by the Earth Institute, the report reviews the state of happiness in the world today, and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the happiest countries on the list were Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands. Their average life evaluation score was 7.6 on a 0-to-10 scale. The least happy countries were Togo, Benin, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone, with a score of 3.4.

However the report points out that not only wealth  makes people happy. Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries.

The World Happiness Report was commissioned for the April 2 United Nations Conference on Happiness (mandated by the UN General Assembly).

For more about the report, click here. To read another story about measuring life quality, read Quantifying Life Quality here on