Poland is not among the happiest nations in the world, shows a ranking by Forbes magazine based on a survey by Gallup World Poll.
Poland came 56th in the ranking, preceding Portugal (70th) and Japan (81st) but falling behind neighbours Belarus (54th) or the Czech Republic (40th).
Scandinavian countries - Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden - and the Netherlands are the happiest countries in the world, the poll finds. As many as 80-70 percent of inhabitants of these countries consider themselves happy. Next in the list are New Zealand, Costa Rica, Canada, Switzerland and Israel, where the number amounts to about 60 percent of society.
In order to assess the level of happiness in certain countries, Gallup researchers asked thousands of respondents from 155 countries whether they were generally satisfied with their lives placing the answers on a 1-10 scale.
Respondents were also asked about their "daily experiences", for example whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged.
A conclusion that Forbes draws from the survey is that by and large, rich countries are happier. "Scandinavians are happy because their basic needs are satisfied," explains Jim Harter from Gallup.
The rule does not apply to the U.S, however, which came 14th in the ranking in spite of being a rich country, or to Turkmenistan which came 18th, preceding Italy, Germany or France, in spite of being relatively poor. Also, Kazakhstan, the richest country in Central Asia was ranked 70th while poverty-stricken Malawi 63rd. (mg/jb)