The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its World Happiness Report on Wednesday.
The report ranks countries on six elements: freedom, generosity, healthy life expectancy, income, social support and trust.
“The top 10 countries tend to rank high in all six variables, as well as emotional measures of well-being,” John Helliwell, co-editor of the report, told CNN.
That doesn’t mean that citizens of countries ranked high in the report walk around smiling all the time, but rather that they are able to push through in moments of crisis and sadness.
“What stands out about the happiest and most well connected societies is their resilience and ability to deal with bad things,” Helliwell said.
New Zealand, which ranked eighth this year (bested only by the Nordic countries, Switzerland and the Netherlands), is one such resilient country.
Citizens in happier countries say that they feel socially supported. Social support was one of the main factors for New Zealanders ranking so high in happiness.
New Zealand is increasingly thinking about supporting well-being on a government, as well as individual or casual, level.
“After the 2011 earthquake and now the terrorist attack in Christchurch — with high social capital, where people are connected — people rally and help each other and (after the earthquake) rebuild immediately,” Helliwell said.