Better Choices » Community / Being connected / Social safety nets

Max Fawcett, writing for the National Observer »

After peaking at fifth in 2015, the latest World Happiness Report ranked us 13th. “Not good!” the right-wing meme factory tweeted.

That ranking still puts Canada ahead of places like the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France. More importantly, the countries ahead of us on the list aren’t exactly the sort of libertarian small-government paradises you’d think the folks at Canada Proud would gravitate towards. Number 1? Finland. Number 2? Denmark. Also in the top 10: Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

According to John Helliwell, one of the authors of the World Happiness Report and a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics, it’s really about being connected with other people. Not surprisingly, the countries where the social safety net is most robust — and where governments are most involved in helping people build and maintain their communities — are the ones where people are happiest.

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