EU outs list of happiest, saddest countries among member states

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The European Union has revealed the list of the happiest and saddest counties based on the outcome of a new multi-dimensional data collection with Denmark, Finland and Sweden topping the charts with an overall satisfaction of 8.0 out of maximum of 10.

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?” people across the European Union (EU) were asked. Life satisfaction represents how a respondent evaluates or appraises his or her life taken as a whole”, notes Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in a press release. Eurostat notes that satisfaction can be regarded as a key indicator of subjective well-being.

Eurostat found that 80 per cent of of residents aged 16 and over in the EU rated their overall life satisfaction in
2013 at 6 and higher, with an average (mean) satisfaction of 7.1.

For the top three countries – Denmark, Finland and Sweden – factors such as high GDP, good healthcare, education, progressive tax, a free market economy played key role in driving the satisfaction up.

UK on the other hand has an above-average happiness rating of 7.3 alongside Germany and Poland. Brits aged 16-24 and newly-retired people aged 65-74 seemed to be the most content in the country.

The report also found that the highest satisfaction among member states were in those countries where health conditions were good and were backed by a strong health services. Factors such as financial situation, and social relations also played a key role in influencing life satisfaction.

“Another finding of the data collected by Eurostat on subjective well-being is that there is a very narrow gender gap in life satisfaction. Males (7.1/10) and females (7.0/10) living in the EU reported on average a nearly identical level of life satisfaction in 2013”, notes Eurostat.

Bulgaria, with an overall rating of just 4.8 out of 10, was the most gloomy country in the list. Each of the age groups registered the lowest level of satisfaction of all the countries.

Greece, Cyprus and Portugal fared better than Bulgaria but, unstable economies are suspected to have a negative effect on their populations.