The World Happiness Report 2017 has ranked Singapore at number 26, the highest-placed Asian country on the list.
The top-three ranked countries are, unsurprisingly, from the Nordic region – Norway, Denmark, Iceland. Norway jumped 3 places to overtake Denmark at the top for the first time, dethroning the 3-time winner since the ranking started in 2012.
The countries are graded on seven main factors that support happiness. These are:
- Good governance
“The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people — their well-being,” said Jeffrey Sachs, the report’s co-editor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, in a statement.
“As demonstrated by many countries, this report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations. It’s time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls. Let’s hold our leaders to this fact.”
Perhaps what is most relevant to Singapore is happiness in the workplace, given that Singaporeans spend some of the most number of hours at the office.
“People tend to spend the majority of their lives working, so it is important to understand the role that employment and unemployment play in shaping happiness,” Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, a professor at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, told CNN.
“The research reveals that happiness differs considerably across employment status, job type, and industry sectors.”
People in well-paid roles are happier, but money is only one predictive measure of happiness.
“Work-life balance, job variety and the level of autonomy are other significant drivers,” said De Neve.
What are the lessons Singapore can learn from the top 3 countries?
Here are four things which these 3 countries have in common which may be of particular interest to us here: