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Belgium is 16th happiest country in the world

15:50 16/03/2018

Disneyland might bill itself as “the happiest place on Earth”, but, according to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, that would be Finland. It came in number one on this year’s World Happiness Report.

The good news for us is that Belgium is working its way up. Two years ago, Belgians were the 18th happiest people, last year the 17th and this year we come in at number 16.

The report, produced by three independent experts, looks at several criteria to determine each country’s place on the happiness scale. Some crucial indicators are GDP per capita, social support networks, life expectancy, freedom to make personal choices, charitable contributions and perceptions of corruption.

As usual, the Scandinavian countries top the chart, with Norway coming in second, folled by Denmark and Iceland. Switzerland completes the top five.

Belgium’s neighbours to the north, the Netherlands, came in sixth, while those to the south, France, came in 23rd. Germany beat Belgium by just one place, at 15th. The report includes 156 countries, with Burundi coming in last.

This year, the Happiness Report broke out a separate table for the happiness ranking of foreign-born residents. On that ranking, Belgium came in 22nd out of 117 countries. Topping that list was Finland again, with Syria coming in last.

Photo: Jean-Paul Remy/Visit Brussels


Written by Lisa Bradshaw