I just read an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. of the OECD “Better Life Index” intended to give a sense of where countries rank in terms of happiness. Canada came in in 2nd place, right behind Denmark.
Happiness is a good thing to measure. It is the thing philosophers tend to mention in discussions about ethics: if you live in a place that is governed on ethically sound principles, so the argument goes, you will tend to be happy.
Here’s how 24/7 claimed to do their analysis:
24/7 Wall St. analyzed the new OECD Better Life Index to objectively determine the happiest countries in the world. The Index is based on 11 measurements of quality of life including housing, income, jobs, community, education, the environment, health, work-life balance, and life satisfaction. We made “life satisfaction” the cornerstone of our index because it is as good a proxy for “happiness” as the survey provides. We then compared “life satisfaction” scores to the other measurements to find those economic and socio-political realities that had the highest and lowest correlation to happiness.
I’d recommend reading the article. It’s quite interesting.