Happiest European countries: The UK was ranked the fourth happiest country in Europe in the study
While it may not have taken the crown, Britons will be glad to hear the UK was ranked the fourth happiest country in Europe in the study.
Austria took the third spot just above the UK.
Three of the four happiest countries in Europe share one very major thing in common – they don’t use the Euro – a fact which may make EU bigwigs including Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel and Donald Tusk uneasy.
The Happiness Index gave the 13 European countries on which the index was tested a score out of 100 – and the UK gained 69 points.
The research was the work of researchers at the University of Valencia, Spain with official statistics used from sources such as the UN, World Data Bank and Eurostat.
Scientists used data on a country’s development, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace to build rankings and work out how people can be made happier.
They tested the index – dubbed HAIN – on 13 European countries for which all the data they wanted was available.
We also want to polish the dynamic model for more countries, so that we can include more social and financial variables
The countries scored as follows: Austria (74), France (66), Spain (63), Czech Republic (63), Cyprus (62), Slovenia (61), Croatia (60), Lithuania (58), Lativa (51) and Portugal (50).
Professor Joan Micó, who was involved in creating the index, said: “At the moment, happiness indexes are based on questionnaires that a certain sample of the population answer.
“They are therefore very subjective values. Unlike these, our index is created based on objective data, official statistics that represent a country’s entire population.”
HAIN also stands out for including new quantitative variables such as the quality of education, migration and the exporting and importing of goods and services.
The index has been used to study the evolution of happiness for Spain’s population. It concluded that the country will need to invest more in education, research and development if if wants to make its people happier.
Europe Happiness Index: The happiest countries in Europe have been shared by University of Valencia
Happiest European countries: Sweden came joint first with Iceland in the index
According to Physorg.com, “Researchers say that their objective for the future is to calculate this happiness index for the largest number of countries possible.
“[They will] compare them and extract possible conclusions, such as the relation between happiness and the geographic region, climate, religion, etc.
“We also want to polish the dynamic model for more countries, so that we can include more social and financial variables,” said Antonio Caselles, member of The International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences.
“The end goal is that HAIN can be used to find strategies adapted to the specific governing issues of each country.”
According to the World Happiness Report 2018 commissioned by the UN, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and Finland are consistently voted the top happiest countries in Europe.
Happiest European countries: In Denmark they pay high taxes but reap the rewards of happiness
All the top countries tend to have high values for all six of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity,” the UN report states.
Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, an author of the UN’s Happiness Report, told Time: “The Scandinavian countries are very big on social support.
“The top countries, you can see, have societies which are not at each others throats. But also they have high GDP per capita.”
In Denmark, citizens pay a lot of tax but they consequently benefit from free university education, free healthcare, generous maternity leave and unemployment benefits.
“We are not paying taxes. We are investing in our society. We are purchasing quality of life,” wrote Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, in 2016.
Happiness Index Results
- Iceland (76)
Czech Republic (63)