Vietnam ranked 94th out of 155 countries and territories in terms of happiness, while Norway displaced Denmark as the world’s happiest country in a new UN report released on Monday.
The World Happiness Report 2017, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012, called on nations to build social trust and equality in order to improve the well-being of their citizens.
The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the report, while countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries and territories ranked in the fifth annual report of its kind released by the UN.
Vietnam ranked 94th in this year’s report, up from last year’s 96th but still far behind its peak 2015 rank of 75th.
Singapore was the happiest country in Southeast Asia, ranking 26th, followed by Thailand (32nd), Malaysia (42nd), the Philippines (72nd), Indonesia (81st), Vietnam (94th), Myanmar (114th), and Cambodia (129th).
Brunei and Laos were not ranked in this year’s report.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.
South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic were at the bottom of the list.
The rankings are based on six factors – per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and the absence of corruption in governments or businesses.
"The lowest ranked countries are typically marked by low values across all six variables," said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.
The first World Happiness Report was published in April 2012, in support of a UN High Level Meeting on happiness and well-being, which agreed on selecting the twentieth day of March every year to be the International Day of Happiness.