It’s not about being the richest! Money does not bring happiness; and despite the not-so-good economic outlook and many social woes around the country, Belizeans are happy. Our country has been listed as the 50th Happiest Country in the World. NOT BAD! Considering all 196 of them.
This is the latest report from World Happiness Report (WHR), produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The aim of the report, said Mr Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General, is to provide another tool for governments, businesses and civil societies to help their countries find a better way to well-being.
There is no doubt that Belize is a happy country! We are so blessed with our freedom and amazing natural resources that make our country so special. Yes we have our lows, but most importantly we have our highs that keep ups smiling!
The UN report was released to coincide with the International Day of Happiness (March 20), and experts say it shouldn't be taken lightly. This year, the conclusion underlines how money doesn't necessarily equal happiness.
"It's the human things that matter. If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationships between people, is it worth it?'' asked John Helliwell, the lead author of the report and an economist at the University of British Columbia.
Norway nabbed the top spot out of the 155 countries surveyed, followed by Denmark (last year's no. 1), Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. The United States fell to 14th place, continuing its slide down the list in recent years.
The report highlights the top 10 countries all rank highly in aspects of "income, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom and trust.” It sampled responses of an average of 3000 participants per country, asking them to evaluate their lives in six categories, from 0-10 (0 being the worst possible, and 10 being the best).
Belize’s highest ranking category of citizen satisfaction was “Social support”, followed by GDP per capita. The third highest rating was “Freedom to make choices,” followed by “Healthy life expectancy.” Belize scored very low on the “Perception of corruption” marker.