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© RIA Novosti. Владимир Астапкович

Russia in the middle of world happiness rankings

by at 05/04/2012 17:23

Russia has found itself in the middle of a happiness ratings table published in the World Happiness Report for the UN's Conference on Happiness.
Among the more than 150 countries ranked in the survey, Russia has been given the 76th place with a "happiness index" of just little above five points out of 10, same as for Moldova and Peru.
The leaders of the rating, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Canada, received an index rating of 7.6 percent, according to the report prepared by the Earth Institute of the University of Colombia.

Money can't buy you happiness
The main criteria for the rankings were the levels of political freedom, the social welfare system and corruption. According to researchers, these parameters have a more significant effect on the national happiness than monthly incomes.
The freedom of society has been named one of the key happiness requirements for a society, and the current state of affairs in Russia and other post-Soviet countries could be part of their historical heritage.
"It is also the fact that the least happy societies documented in 1990 were those in the former Soviet bloc," the research read.

Turkmenistan nearly as happy as Germany
The happiest of the CIS countries, according to the research is gas-rich Turkmenistan, rated 32, just two positions below Germany.
Russia's main partners in the Custom Union, Karazkhstan and Belarus, have also come ahead of it in the final rating with 59th and 62nd positions respectively.
The unhappiest states were found in Africa. Togo, Benin, the Central African Republic and Sierra-Leone gained only 3.4 points out of 10.

World a happier place
The general trend is rather optimistic. Over the last 30 years the world has become a happier place as the average index of happiness grew by 0.14 point.
For Russians, however, life has never looked good enough. Last year's poll by the Hamburg's Foundation for Future Studies found out that they were the least happy people among Europe's other 13 nations.
Then, just 37 percent of Russians said they were happy, while the average figure for Europe was 68 percent.



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