On a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most satisfied with life, how happy are you?
According to the United Nations General Assembly's latest report, which averaged scores taken between 2010 and 2012, the top 20 happiest nations in the world all scored 7s. It seems no country is perfect and out of 156 countries, more than half rated between 4.0 and 6.0. Most of the wealthier countries did better, but it wasn't just GDP that accounted for the makings of a good life.
Social support often tipped the scales making it clear that a good living only counts for so much; friends, partners and people you can count on provide a network for well-being. This can be a boon or a bust type of feedback loop however, as to be part of such a network requires happiness. No one likes hanging out with a party pooper.
As the authors of the report write, "people who are emotionally happier, who have more satisfying lives, and who live in happier communities, are more likely both now and later to be healthy, productive, and socially connected. These benefits in turn flow more broadly to their families, workplaces, and communities, to the advantage of all."