Norway is the happiest country in the world and the United States the 12th. The Philippines ranks 67th.
The Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country of five million people in the middle of the African continent and where just 2 percent of the population have Internet access at home, is the saddest.
That is according to a study of 142 countries comprising 96 percent of the world’s population conducted by the London-based Legatum Institute Prosperity Index, a report posted on Forbes.com said.
The study was based on 89 indicators grouped into eight categories—economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital.
For the first time in the six-year run of the index, the United States slipped from the Top 10 to 12th.
In comparison to other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines ranked ahead of Laos (82nd) and Cambodia (107th), but was behind Singapore (19th), Malaysia (45th), Vietnam (53rd), Thailand (56th) and Indonesia (63rd).
Aside from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan also made it to the Top 20 list of happiest countries at 18th and 20th places, respectively.
After Norway, where per capita GDP is at $57,000 a year, the next happiest countries were Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland.
“Norwegians have the second-highest level of satisfaction with their standards of living: 95 percent say they are satisfied with the freedom to choose the direction of their lives; an unparalleled 74 percent say other people can be trusted,” Forbes said in its report. Inquirer Research
Sources: Forbes.com, Prosperity.com, Li.com