Per capita, the happiest countries in the world also rank highest in terms of consumers of antidepressants - FactzPedia


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Per capita, the happiest countries in the world also rank highest in terms of consumers of antidepressants

Per capita, the happiest countries in the world 

The OECD 'Health at a Glance 2015' report has revealed the developed countries which consume the most antidepressants. Statista has visualised the data, measured in 2013, with Iceland ranking the highest for consumption. The UK ranked 6th out of 28 countries, while Chile was the lowest

Finland is top of the world for happiness, according to the world 2018 report 

Closely followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Nordic countries take four out of the five top spots, and are well known to be stable, safe and socially progressive. There is very little corruption, and the police and politicians are trusted.

Money can’t buy happiness

But some of the world’s richest nations, including the US and Japan, are found much further down the list.

The disparity between wealth and happiness has caused policymakers to broaden their scope and look for other indicators to assess the health of nations, rather than just measuring economic success through GDP.

But happiness – or well-being – is subjective and notoriously difficult to quantify.

This report is based on international surveys in which thousands of respondents were asked to imagine a ladder with steps numbered 0 to 10 and say where they felt they stood.

And it cites six significant factors which contribute to happiness; GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and corruption levels.

Falling down the list

Although the US ranks highly for per capita income, it is only ranked 18th out of 156 countries, substantially below most comparably wealthy nations.

That is because it performs poorly on social measures: life expectancy has declined, inequality has grown and confidence in the government has fallen.

The renowned economist , who was one of the report’s editors, said the fact that the US was still falling down the rankings was very worrying and revealed deep stress amongst its citizens.

“I think there really is a deep and very unsettling signal coming through that US society is in many ways under profound stress, even though the economy by traditional measures is doing fine,” he said . “The trends are not good, and the comparative position of the US relative to other high-income countries is nothing short of alarming.”

Sachs highlights three interrelated diseases that need to be tackled; obesity, substance abuse (especially the opioid crisis) and depression.

The US has one of the highest rates of obesity and the highest rate of antidepressant use in the world.

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