Czechs may not be given to outward expressions of joy, but a new quality of life report says they are among the happiest people in the world.
Of the 155 countries surveyed for the 2017 World Happiness Report, compiled by a division of the United Nations, the Czech Republic came in 23rd place, scoring 6.609 on the index.
The top positions are traditionally held by the Nordic countries, and this year was no exception: Norway (#1), Denmark (#2), and Iceland (#3) clinched the top three. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Central African Republic came in last.
The report measures happiness by several indicators including social support, healthy life expectancy at birth, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption.
This year’s report found the biggest single source of misery is mental illness, and work also has a major impact on overall happiness.
“Unemployment causes a major fall in happiness, and even for those in work, the quality of work can cause major variations in happiness,” the report found.
So, what does cause widespread happiness? All of the top four countries ranked highly on main factors that support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income, and good governance.
The Czechs shot up four places from #27 last year; in 2013, the country came in at #39 on the list. That ranking increased to #31 the following year.
(See our article Czech Republic Moves Up In World Happiness Index from 2016).
Read the full report here.