The first ever world map of happiness was just released by a researcher in the UK. Using the results of more than 100 studies, he color-coded countries’ levels of happiness. (In the map below, the redder the country, the happier it is.)

happy map

Denmark, apparently, is the happiest country on earth; and other Scandinavian countries also rank highly. Canada pulls in at a very respectable number 10 while the United States is 24th happiest country. Interestingly, all of Europe’s highly populated countries rank below the United States (with, perhaps, the exception of the Netherlands at 15th).

Nearly all of the top-ranking countries are also among the world’s wealthiest. But there are a couple of striking exceptions: Bhutan is 9th, though it has roughly 1/30th the per capita GDP of the US (and 1/25th that of Denmark). Much richer than Bhutan, but much poorer than the industrial West, another batch of countries scores in the top 20: Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbados, and Malaysia.

The Vancouver Sun has further details.