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'Harsh climate' could be getting in the way of our happiness

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, March 16, 2018, 5:42 AM - For the second year in a row, Canada has taken the seventh spot in the World Happiness Report.

That's a two-spot demotion from the 2016 report, where Canada ranked fifth.

Finland tops the list followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.

Canadian economist John F. Helliwell, who co-edited the report, suspects a colder climate may help push some countries to the top.

“An occasionally harsh climate is a good way of building the kind of co-operative spirit . . . and in fact makes people happy to co-operate with each other in protecting and making life work,” he told CTV News Channel.

He adds that sense of community is pronounced in Canada's smaller communities, "it’s harder in the big cities to develop that sense of community, knowing and trusting your neighbours and your shopkeepers and so on. A happy life is built on that.”

The top 10 happiest countries are:

  1.  Finland 
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland 
  5. Switzerland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Sweden
  10. Australia

The least happiest are:

Of the 156 countries surveyed, here's who bottomed out the list:

  1. Burundi
  2. Central African Republic 
  3. South Sudan 
  4. Tanzania
  5. Yemen
  6. Rwanda
  7. Syria
  8. Liberia
  9. Haiti
  10. Malawi 

The full report can be found online.

VIDEO: Beautiful colours at Ontario's Lake Meech:

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