Above: Trinidad (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Trinidad is the happiest country in the Caribbean, according to the 2013 World Happiness Report from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The report, which was published this year for the second time, comes after last year’s Gallup World Survey, which found Trinidad to be the fifth-happiest country on earth.
Trinidad was ranked 31st overall in the world, ahead of countries including Kuwait, Saudi arabia, Thailand, Spain and South Korea, among others.
The report looks at what it found to be six key variables: “real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.”
The report was edited by several academics including Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The data covers a three-year period from 2010 to 2012.
“There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being,” Sachs said in a release. “More and more world leaders are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations and the world. The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a lot about ways to improve the world’s well-being and sustainable development.”
It should be noted, however, that only five Caribbean countries were included in the list — although the UN said it only covered countries for which all of the data was available.
Interestingly, though, the report found that the Latin America and Caribbean region, along with Sub-Saharan Africa, had shown the largest increases in “life evaluations,” with more than 75 percent of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean showing “significant increases” in average happiness.
Those Caribbean countries ranked on the list included Suriname (40), Jamaica (75), the Dominican Republic (95) and Haiti (126).
To read the complete report, click here.