Business

Switzerland is 'world's happiest' country in new poll

  • 24 April 2015
  • From the section Business
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A man throws a Swiss flag as alphorn players perform on July 28, 2013 in Nendaz, Switzerland. About 150 alphorn blowers performed together on the last day of the international Alphorn Festival of Nendaz. The Swiss folkloric wooden wind instrument was used in most mountainous regions of Europe by mountain dwellers as signal Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Switzerland is famous for its chocolates, luxury watches, private banks and ski resorts

The land of clocks and chocolates is the world's happiest country, according to a new survey.

Switzerland topped the third annual World Happiness index produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative under the United Nations.

It was closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

Togo, Burundi, Benin and Rwanda, with civil-war wracked Syria, were least happy.

The survey was released on the eve of presidential elections in Togo, where one family has been in power for 48 years.

The World Happiness Report examined 158 countries and is aimed at influencing government policy.

World's Happiest Countries World's Least Happy Countries
1. Switzerland 1. Togo
2. Iceland 2. Burundi
3. Denmark 3. Syria
4. Norway 4. Benin
5. Canada 5. Rwanda

The study bases its rankings on data from the Gallup World Poll and takes into account variables such as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, corruption levels and social freedoms.

"Increasingly happiness is considered a proper measure of social progress and goal of public policy," the report said.

"A rapidly increasing number of national and local governments are using happiness data and research in their search for policies that could enable people to live better lives".

The SDSN comprises people from academia, government and the private sector and was first launched in 2012.

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