Researchers at Britains University of Leicester have used an array of statistical data, plus the subjective responses of 80,000 people worldwide, to map out well-being across 178 countries.
Denmark and five other European countries, including Switzerland, Austria, and Iceland, came out in the top 10, while Zimbabwe and Burundi pulled up the bottom.
Countries that are happiest are those that are healthy, wealthy, and wise. The most significant factors were health, the level of poverty, and access to basic education. Population size also plays a role.
Smaller countries with greater social cohesion and a stronger sense of national identity tended to score better, while those with the largest populations fared worse. China came in No. 82, India ranked 125, and Russia was 167. The U.S. came in at 23.
Why have Asians done poorly on this happiness chart?
It is hard to understand without knowing all the details of what went into the survey.
Most Asian countries have strong collective identity, family bonds and all members of the family pull together for each other. This may be changing because of the pressures of modern-day life of materialism and intense competition.