According to the World Happiness Reports published since 2012, the Nordic countries are usually ranked as the happiest countries in the world. But, in a recent study, it was revealed by the researches that people inhabiting in the southern Europe have higher mental health-being in comparison to those living in the North.
The question people were asked was that, to what extent they have felt good and functioned in the last two weeks. If they said “Feeling good” it meant that they felt relaxed, optimistic and energetic while “functioning well” meant that they were able to think with clarity.
The scale was applied in Denmark and then compared with people inhabiting in Iceland, Catalonia, and England. It was revealed that people in Catalonia had higher score regarding mental well-being compared to those living in the other three northern European countries. This also challenges the prevalent notion that people living in Northern Europe are happier compared to those living in Southern Europe.
The Nordic countries are usually ranked as the happiest countries in the World Happiness Report as in that report the happiness is measured via Cantril’s ladder of life evaluation. The people are asked to rate their life on a ladder scale in which ten is the “best possible life for you” and zero is the “worst possible life for you”.
These measures are influenced by the economic conditions, mental health, well-being etc. Now it must be understood that higher income can buy better life but it does not mean that they would have positive mental health and well-being.
Thus the “happiest place in the world” label is something that is quite relative.