New report shows the U.S. as the 14th happiest country

Factors considered in the report were life expectancy, personal freedom to make life choices, and corruption

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A global happiness report of 155 countries ranked the United States as the 14th happiest country, one place down from last year. Norway claimed the top spot, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland.

“They have a lot of good systems that help people to be able to be happy and overcome things that make people unhappy in Scandinavian countries,” said Kayla Schmitz of Greenfield.

Income in the United States has gone up over the past decade, but happiness is still trending lower.

“My student loans, my debt that lasted for a good 20 years after I graduated from college made me unhappy. It made me take jobs that I didn’t necessarily want,” said Danae Dinicola of Greenfield.

According to researchers, it takes more than just having money to be happy. Researchers in the report also calculated the happiness rankings based on life expectancy as well as people’s feelings toward their community and how well they’re being supported.

“It would be good to have a nice job but it doesn’t have to be well-paid, it just has to be something you enjoy you want to be around family, you want to be helping people in the community,” said Aaron Milewski of Gill.

Other factors considered in the report were personal freedom to make life choices, and corruption.

African countries dominated the bottom list, including the Central African Republic, Tanzania, and Burundi. This was the 5th year of the “Happiness” rankings.