Better Life Index: Switzerland Ranked #1 for ‘Life Satisfaction’ in the World; US Outside of Top 10

Better Life Index: Switzerland Ranked #1 for ‘Life Satisfaction’ in the World; US Outside of Top 10

world-mapBy Stoyan Zaimov – A new Better Life Index ranking compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has determined that Switzerland is the happiest developed country in the world based on life satisfaction, and the United States is ranked outside the top 10.

“Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and a moderate level of civic participation in Switzerland, where 94% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 90%,” the OECD explains on its website.

“In general, people in Switzerland are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 82% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc).”

The Better Life Index rankings can be measured according to several topics, including Housing, Income, Jobs, Community, Education, Environment, Civic Engagement, Health, Life Satisfaction, Safety and Work-Life Balance, and looks at more than 30 of the world’s most developed countries.

When all the factors are combined, Australia takes top spot, with Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland following – while the United States takes sixth place.

However, based on life satisfaction alone, the Swiss are deemed to be the happiest people in the ranking – followed by Norway, Sweden, Canada and Denmark. The U.S. comes in at number 12, right behind New Zealand and above the United Kingdom.

The OECD says that the point of the Index is to analyze the factors that matter to the well-being of societies, explaining that the aim is to involve and empower citizens “to become more informed and engaged in the policy-making process that shapes all our lives.”

On certain topics, the United States scored higher than average, receiving 10 out of 10 when it comes to Income and 8.9 out of 10 when it comes to Safety. The poorest performing categories for the U.S. proved to be Civic Engagement and Work-Life Balance, scoring 5.8 and 6.7, respectively.

When comparing the results from the Better Life Index to global religious demographics, it can be noted that the highest-ranking countries all officially have Christian majorities.

A Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life report on the Global Religious Landscape in 2010 estimated that 81.3 percent of the Swiss population could be classified as Christian. Australia, the overall winner, had a lower Christian population at 67.3 percent. Other high-ranking countries such as Norway, Canada and Sweden were estimate to have 84.7 percent, 69.0 percent and 67.2 percent Christian populations, respectively.

Pew estimated that the U.S. has a Christian population of 78.3 percent.

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