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President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the St Patrick's Day parades: Irish people rank 10th in the world for happiness, according to a new UN report.
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the St Patrick's Day parades: Irish people rank 10th in the world for happiness, according to a new UN report.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Ireland comes 10th in UN's first ever 'World Happiness Report'

An aggregated index of international polls published by the UN shows we’re happier than people from the US or UK.
Apr 4th 2012, 3:08 PM 9,966 49

IT’S OFFICIAL: Irish people are among the happiest in the world, according to a new global report published by the United Nations.

The first ever World Happiness Report ranks the Irish population as the tenth-happiest in the world, ahead of those from the United Kingdom and United States.

The rankings are based on an aggregate of annual global polls between 2006 and 2011, and therefore includes Irish responses before and after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

Scandinavian countries dominate the list; Denmark is ranked as the happiest country, ahead of Finland in second and Norway in third (Sweden is seventh).

The Netherlands is ranked in fourth, with Canada in fifth and Switzerland in sixth. New Zealand and Australia – countries which have become home to many Irish after recent waves of emigration – are ranked eighth and ninth respectively.

The United States stands in 11th, while the United Kingdom stands in 18th. Togo was the least happy country, behind Benin, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Burundi.

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Taking individual indices into account, Ireland ranked third in the world in one chart for average life satisfaction, behind Costa Rica and Denmark, and in tenth by another measure (behind Northern Ireland, which when measured individually, ranked ninth).

Based on a series of international polls asking respondents to gauge how happy they were “yesterday”, Ireland ranked top of the world, with the average respondent giving a response higher than 9 out of 10.

Read: Pessimism about health could lead to shortened lifespan

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Gavan Reilly

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