Symbol copyright AFP Image caption Sunshine can take a holiday - the colder Nordic nations are the happiest
on the UN's world day of happiness, Norway seized the coveted title of the world's happiest country from its neighbour Denmark.
But should you look at the underlying data, the margins between the top five - Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland - are so small that any of them can have pop out on most sensible.
The Nordic nations particularly (Sweden crept in at number 10) consistently best surveys of neatly-being.
So why are not we copying them?
it isn't the economic system, stupid
To start with, you need to know what we're measuring.Symbol copyright EPA Symbol caption The document's scores are approximately feelings instead of wealth or health
that might sound just a little fluffy for a UN company file however it is a deliberate try to escape from exhausting numbers.
For decades, we now have measured prosperity and luck through economic measures like gross domestic product. But that does not mean the people in the ones international locations really feel glad.
In the U.s.a., for example, source of revenue has gone up because the nineteen sixties, however happiness has not. In contemporary years, GDP has grown - however how satisfied people are is actually falling.
A job is essential for happiness, but wealth has diminishing returns.Image copyright EPA Symbol caption Norway took the top spot this year, however Denmark has been a constant winner for decades
The re-funding of oil earnings in Norway - an "emphasis at the long term over the present" was singled out in the announcement that it had taken the top spot within the Global Happiness Report.
But any such prime rate of tax and cannot simply be offered in a single day - and it is just one piece of the difficult cultural puzzle.
The constant luck of Denmark in happiness surveys, dating again to the nineteen seventies, has helped to popularise their cultural thought of hygge (that is suggested "hoo-ga").
In a nutshell, it's the concept that of self-care thru small, comfy indulgences, which is helping to stave off the long wintry weather evenings.
Advocates say that small acts of self-care are a key part of what makes the Danes - and different cultures with equivalent practices (like Swedish mys or Norwegian kos) - so satisfied.
But not people are convinced.
Oh, happy Danes
Researchers on the College of Warwick assume that each one the thriller surrounding Nordic - particularly Danish - happiness has much less to do with socialism and snug candlelight and more to do with excellent hard science.
Andrew Oswald and Eugenio Proto assume they have got discovered the answer in Denmark's DNA: that "the nearer a nation is to the genetic make-up of Denmark, the happier that united states of america is."
The research is far from positive, but the pair discovered that Denmark has a particularly top prevalence of 1 gene variant which is associated with just right temper, and a resistance to depression.Symbol copyright AFP Symbol caption Prepare for a rainy day - some professionals suppose expectancies subject
But then again, there are a few who suppose the query favours the content material.
Michael Sales Space, writer of "The Just About Just About Highest Other People: At The Back Of The Parable of the Scandinavian Utopia" thinks that Danes would possibly simply have low expectancies.
"Over the years i have requested many Danes approximately those happiness surveys - whether they in point of fact consider that they're the global happiness champions - and i've but to satisfy a unmarried one of them who critically believes it is precise," he wrote within the Atlantic.
"Danes do generally expect less than the remaining folks, and while their low expectancies are fulfilled, so are they."
it is the related end reached through a tongue-in-cheek paper in the British Scientific Journal again in 2006, which noticed the existence of Eu statistical information on low Danish expectancies.
So, despite the fact that no-one is rather certain what the important thing to Nordic happiness is, voters of alternative international locations can content material themselves with the information that it is in all probability cultural, genetic, or just made-up nonsense.
That kind of dismissal is not going to hassle the folks there - they are somewhat pleased with how issues are, finally.