Jeddah: The United Nation’s first-ever World Happiness Report 2012
listed Denmark in the top spot followed by Finland, Norway and the
Netherlands. Among other countries in the Gulf region, the UAE was
ranked 17th, Kuwait 29th and Qatar 31st.
Saudi Arabia has been ranked 26th on
an international happiness index. The report quoted the Saudi
Ministry of Economy and Planning as showing a year ago that the
average per capita income in Saudi Arabia was SR49, 000.
The 158-page report was commissioned for the United Nations
Conference on Happiness in order to “review the state of happiness
in the world today and show how the new science of happiness
explains personal and national variations in happiness.”
rankings in the report were based on a number called the “life
evaluation score,” a measurement which takes into account a
variety of factors including people’s health, family and job
security as well as social factors like political freedom and
It also looks at measurements from previous
international reports on happiness.
In the introduction to the report, the co-editors explain that the
report aims in part to evaluate happiness based on a more
comprehensive measurement system that can be used to inform policy
“While basic living standards are essential for happiness, after
the baseline has been met happiness varies more with the quality
of human relationship than with income,” the report read.
goals should include high employment and high-quality work; a
strong community with high levels of trust and respect, which
government can influence through inclusive participatory policies;
improved physical and mental health; support of family life; and a
decent education for all.”
The unhappy nation list is dominated by the poor African
countries. At the bottom of the rankings are Togo, Benin, Central
African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Comoros, Haiti and
Tanzania, said the report.